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Thread: Britain is No Longer a Christian Nation, Claims Church of England Bishop

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    Britain is No Longer a Christian Nation, Claims Church of England Bishop

    The Rt Rev Paul Richardson said declining church attendance and the rise in multiculturalism meant that "Christian Britain is dead".

    He criticised his fellow bishops for failing to appreciate the scale of the crisis and warned that their inaction could seal the Church's fate.

    As one of the Church's longest-serving bishops, the comments by the assistant Bishop of Newcastle are set to fuel the debate over its future.

    The General Synod, the Church's parliament, will next month consider proposals to cut the number of bishops and senior clergy amid fears over the Church's finances.

    Writing for The Sunday Telegraph, Bishop Richardson said: "Many bishops prefer to turn their heads, to carry on as if nothing has changed, rather than face the reality that Britain is no longer a Christian nation.

    "Many of them think that we are still living in the 1950s – a period described by historians as representing a hey day for the established church."

    He said that the Church had lost more than one in ten of its regular worshippers between 1996 and 2006, with a fall from more than one million to 880,000.

    "At this rate it is hard to see the church surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility," said Bishop Richardson.

    Nearly half of the population in England regard themselves as belonging to the Church of England, while seven in ten described themselves as Christian in the last census.

    However, the Bishop said that the fall in church marriages and baptisms revealed that Britain was no longer a Christian nation.

    The number of babies being baptised has fallen from 609 in every 1,000 at the turn of the twentieth century to only 128 in 2006/7 and church marriages have also dropped.

    Bishop Richardson said: "The church is being hit by a double whammy: on the one hand it confronts the challenge of institutional decline but on the other hand it has to face the rise of cultural and religious pluralism in Britain."

    He says that the way the Church responds to this will be "crucial in determining whether it will be able to survive as a viable organisation and make a contribution to national life".

    "At present church leaders show little signs of understanding the situation. They don't understand the culture we now live in."

    The bishop believed it is inevitable that disestablishment will happen and suggests that the Church should take a lead on the issue rather than being dictated to by Parliament.

    "Rather than try to cling on to their places in the House of Lords, they should take the initiative by withdrawing, which shows that they appreciate Christian Britain is dead."

    Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has also delivered a bleak assessment of the future of Christianity in this country, claiming previously that Britain's Churches are in such serious decline that if they were shops they would have been declared bankrupt long ago.

    Attendance figures on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve have provided encouragement for the Church of England, showing that three million people attend services on these days and as many as 39 per cent go to some sort of Christmas service.

    The Rt Rev David James, Bishop of Bradford, said that church leaders were aware of the challenge they face, but suggested that there are signs of hope.

    “The Church is always one generation from extinction. That’s true of any organisation,” he said. “Many of our bishops and congregations are awake to the need to reach out and have been doing so succesfully.”

    Bishop James added that many young people are now attending alternative forms of church worship and also pointed to a rise in adult baptisms.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/news...nd-Bishop.html

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    The Odinist Fellowship should take its place. Angles weren't Christian to begin with anyway, so it's pointless to care about maintaining a foreign religion by forcing taxpayers to do so. No foreign religion should receive legal recognition with state support. Henry tried to domesticate Christianity, but that's not good enough. The People don't want it anyway.

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