"Church cuts bishops where Muslims outnumber Christians by seven to one" was the headline in The Telegraph yesterday. "In some parishes in the Diocese of Bradford, more than 70% of residents are Muslims, while just 10% are Anglicans."
In 2008 quoting from 'Religious Trends', The Telegraph reported a prediction that "practising Muslims will outnumber worshipping Christians in Britain within 30 years." By 2035, there will be about 1.96 million active Muslims in Britain, compared with 1.63 million church-going Christians. The think-tank warned that 4,000 churches could close by 2020 if congregations continue to shrink at current rates.
Report does not suggest closing its cathedrals but the future looks bleak despite their conclusion [12.2] that "It continues to be the vocation of the Church of England to provide a Christian presence in every community.We envisage a structure that would enable the Church of England to engage more coherently with the people and communities of West Yorkshire and the western half of North Yorkshire, and with the institutions of civil society there."
For how long will that policy be sustainable?
According to the latest estimates reported in The Telegraph (28 Dec 2010) there are now 2,869,000 Muslims in Britain so there are already 1.24 million more Muslims living here than the 1.63 million church-going Christians quoted above.