Thursday, 15 October 2020

50 Reasons Why the Church of England is Declining

Church with no roof
This church is always open
I  always say there's no such thing as church decline. Only negative growth. That
way it just sounds like a natural variation, rather than a freefall. And the Church of England does it as well. Redefines things to sound better, I mean. Not decline. Though yes, also decline. So they go with"Statistics for Mission". Or, to put it another way, "Statistics for how badly mission is going." And of course, with the Church of England, the term gives everyone the chance to start to argue about what they mean by "mission". In a very real sense.

And so, with the turning of the years, the Church of England Statistics for Mission are in and David Keen at Opinionated Vicar has the annual job of  telling us how bad they are. But why?

I mean, not the right answers. Which answers can you give that reassure yourself that it's all somebody else's fault?

Here's the Beaker List of Reasons why the Church of England is Declining. Normally I'd knock up a bit of Javascript or do a Bingo Card. But I can't be bothered. So instead... feel free to choose your own. Then find someone else on Twitter who thinks it's another one. And let Armageddon commence.

  1. Tolerance of gay People
  2. Intolerance of gay People
  3. Women priests
  4. Informality
  5. Vicars arguing on Twitter 
  6. The Permissive Society
  7. Too much old-fashioned liturgy 
  8. Using the Book of Common Prayer
  9. Lack of equality for women
  10. The loss of belief after the First World War
  11. Irrelevant
  12. Too cold
  13. Too old
  14. Too mouldy
  15. No incense
  16. No interest
  17. Guitars
  18. Kids playing football on Sundays
  19. Telly
  20. The Internet
  21. The electric telegraph
  22. It all went wrong after William Temple
  23. It all went wrong with William Temple
  24. Safeguarding failures
  25. Overbearing safeguarding rules
  26. Quentin Letts
  27. Too left-wing
  28. Too much Establishment
  29. No loos
  30. Vicar got loos installed - ruined the architecture
  31. Great-aunt Angie had a row with the vicar in 1963
  32. Bunch of Trots 
  33. Tory Party at Prayer
  34. Too woke
  35. Too asleep
  36. Church acts like God doesn't exist
  37. Church acts like God does exist
  38. God doesn't exist
  39. No belief in the Bible
  40. Bible-bashing fundamentalists
  41. Doesn't look a thing like Jesus
  42. Vicar talks like a gentleman
  43. Evanjellycals* 
  44. Smells funny
  45. Always after money
  46. Always after food bank donations
  47. Control freaky vicars
  48. No strong leadership
  49. It's all a bit odd 
  50. Silly blogs

*Would any grown-up use such a silly term? I can only apologise. Don't know what made me think of it

Please support this blog


  1. Of course, none of these apply to the disestablished Church in Wales...

  2. I don't recognise many of these. I thought that it was the cold draughty parsonages being replaced by 2 up/2 down new builds with Wimpey labels that was doing it. Afterall the old parsonages had loads of rooms for church groups, curates, children, large gardens for fetes, large rooms or halls close by for the Mothers Union, Boys and Girls Brigades, SSAFA Meetings, War Memorial Committee meetings, Scout, Guides, Brownies, Cubs, Rainbows (other groups are available) and even the Parish Soccer Team to play matches in the garden. I blame the Bishops, who still live in palaces, while their Arch Deacons live in Mansions and the rest of us are confined to Victorian terraces, 2up/2down and an outside toilet.

  3. Replace "vicars" with "priests", the BCP with the Missale Romanum, "William Temple" with and 20th-century Pope, "Quentin Letts" with "Damian Thompson", "Tory" with any abusive term you choose (ask Pope Francis for suggestions), and Bingo! you've got two for the price of one, the second being the Church of Rome. Almost as if we're in the same business, isn't it?

  4. I enjoyed your (not-so) subtle Killers reference - thank-you!


Drop a thoughtful pebble in the comments bowl