Ten years later the national census has painted another picture of decline in the face of a vigorous denial from the Archdeacon of Norwich, named as the most godless city in England. There was something in her delivery which left me less than convinced that the census data were in error but it is undeniable that the Christian religion in this country is on the wane with what is left being increasingly feminised, removing the male influence from yet another institution and leaving a vacuum to be filled by a less tolerant religion.
WhyChurch presents some alarming statistics on churchgoing here and worrying figures on the widening gender gap here. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have now announced the membership of the new working group established by the House of Bishops following the defeat of the women bishops' legislation. The group's task is to assist the House when it meets in February and again in May to come to a decision on the new package of proposals which it intends to bring to the Synod in July. Based on the tone of an earlier statement a stitch-up is on the cards unless members open their eyes and look around them, not only at the state of Anglicanism in this country but around the world where the ordination of women has led from one crisis to another culminating in calls for same-sex marriage in church.
Open their eyes, Lord, they need to see Jesus, to reach out and touch Him and say that they love Him, not question His sexuality for personal ambition and dilute the church even more than they have done already. But if that has to be their way, please God they still have an element of charity left in them to make adequate provision for those of us who still want to follow the way of the universal church.