Do you think we will see Church's disappear quite rapidly?

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Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Hi all,

A random thought I had recently which I would be interested in hearing further thoughts on.

Now as I've still not hit 25, the young one still in me still likes the think myself as part of "the new generation"... So anyway, after being invited to a christening a friend was running recently it really got me thinking. When I look at all my friends (and I mean all, rather than just those I see daily), I dont know of any of them ever throughout the time of known them to practice Christianity or go to Church other than for occasions such as Christening and maybe weddings.

So this got me thinking- ok Im jumping the gun a little but as I have a very diverse range of friends (ok this isnt exact science) I would like to think they kind of give a pretty good insight as to the way things may look in the future... so my simple thought was well if Im not going to church for anything other than others key events, if nobody from all those I know every attend church... well surely as generations older to myself (and I guess Im more foreseeing 40+ year olds being generous), surely within the next 50 years we will see a pretty high rate of Church's being closed down?- Like, alarmingly high as I would have thought nobody will be attending or doing anything to keep them running?

Dont get me wrong I'm sure in major cities some will stay open, but when you think of the amount in local villages and towns etc, my limited knowledge on the matter gives me the impression that they cant last too much longer with an ever smaller audience.

Thoughts?
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Do you mean the buildings or the their use as a regular place of worship?

Smaller churches have been shrinking and closing for quite some time now, but what we have seen is a growth in some evangelical congregations.

What might happen in the future is a bit of a guess, but I suspect you're largely right. But then again, who knows.

Steve W
 

Orson

Moderator
Now as I've still not hit 25...

That could be it. At the moment, you're invincible.

When you get to 60, you might consider leaving your options open.

When you get to 70, you may well be willing to turn up on a Sunday & pray for another life? :D
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Are there any stats on Church attendance vs. time?
 

cmdrmarc

Well-known Member
In terms of the COE churches, yes, I think they'll have to do something drastic. In terms of Christian churches, no, they're only getting bigger. I'm part of a charismatic church in a not overly large city (it's a town but we have a cathedral!), and it has 400+ regular attendees over 2 meetings. It's lively, relevant, and growing.

Western Europe is one of the only places where Christianity is dwindling as a whole. You look at South Korea, India and the US and it's growing at a crazy rate. I'm obviously going to be all for Christianity, and wish everyone would give it a try, but taking my bias out of the equation, this country needs something drastic. The amount of selfish behaviour which seems to be acceptable is really sad.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
And namatching - don't think those alone are enough to keep the roof from leaking though.
 

lynx

Well-known Member
I'd agree with the above. Charismatic churches are very strong in my area, several are exist with events on around 5 days/ nights per week, plus various house groups which seem to be well attended.
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
Ian J said:
Interesting terminology you use :)

I didn't want to say "a friends christening" as it would sound like one of my friends were getting christened...! And didn't want to say "attended the christening of my friends son" as frankly...I became too lazy to type it lol
 

Grangey.

Distinguished Member
cmdrmarc said:
In terms of the COE churches, yes, I think they'll have to do something drastic. In terms of Christian churches, no, they're only getting bigger. I'm part of a charismatic church in a not overly large city (it's a town but we have a cathedral!), and it has 400+ regular attendees over 2 meetings. It's lively, relevant, and growing.

Western Europe is one of the only places where Christianity is dwindling as a whole. You look at South Korea, India and the US and it's growing at a crazy rate. I'm obviously going to be all for Christianity, and wish everyone would give it a try, but taking my bias out of the equation, this country needs something drastic. The amount of selfish behaviour which seems to be acceptable is really sad.

Really interesting point actually :) thanks for sharing :)
 

Liquid101

Distinguished Member
It's probably something to do with living in Wales, but... I've noticed among my work colleagues, that a large percentage of the 20-40 year old's regularly attend church.

What's even more interesting is that most of them are well educated, including PhD's and MSc's etc. - I've always struggled with the idea that you can be intelligent, logical *and* a believer, but that's another thread.

Still - Christianity seems to be on the rise here, mostly through the happy clappy evangelical brigade.

So I think we'll see old fashioned churches gradually all turn into houses, pubs and arts centres, while the 'modern' churches take over.
 

gamingboy

Well-known Member
Grangey. said:
I didn't want to say "a friends christening" as it would sound like one of my friends were getting christened...! And didn't want to say "attended the christening of my friends son" as frankly...I became too lazy to type it lol

You've had to type it now to explain though. :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member

Toko Black

In Memoriam
If the trends over the last 30 years continue, I would expect to see a fall of about 10% the number of churches in 2020 as existed in 2000.

Even with some churches experiencing a growth in numbers, the over all trend in attendance and membership in churches is still in rapid decline. Since 2000, overall church membership has dropped 10% and attendance by 24%.

These trends follow the same pattern as the period from 1980 - 2000.

From the 1980's, the expectation of loss in 2020 is predicted to approximately be:

Churches 12.5% less
Membership 40% less
Attendance 55% less
 

Dextur

Distinguished Member
It's possible with a potentially horrendous global economic meltdown on the way that attendance and a general sway towards belief could increase.

There's going to be a lot of people at rock bottom which often increases ones requirement to believe in something better than and greater than the hole they are in.

Faith allows many folks to block out pain in whatever forms it takes.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
SimonH, I agree, but I think it goes further than that.

Put simply, people have become more secular as thet felt less of a need for organised religion. Perceived need was reduced as people felt they could get day-to-day problems answered elsewhere - or that advances in technology and science meant they weren't even questions anymore.

But just to offer one example, we have a worldwide crisis brewing with antibiotics. Some doctors are predicting that the situation may end up retreating to pre-penicillin times. A frightening thought.

When people can no longer pop a pill to get rid of their pneumonia (see my sig, BTW) their world view may change.

Religious belief and practice is not a simple matter, but a complex one, which makes things like this very difficult to predict.

Steve W
 

Berties

Banned
When people can no longer pop a pill to get rid of their pneumonia (see my sig, BTW) their world view may change.

I wouldn't, I wouldn't decide just because drugs don't work you gotta start believing in something. That sounds pretty illogical to me.
 

DrPhil

Distinguished Member
Been summed up already on page 1. Traditional churches attendance may well decrease. Living in Ireland, I've always been well aware of the culture that most people were "Sunday Christians", both Catholic and Protestant, but the days where priests and ministers are feared and revered are ending, with good reason and about time. (Nothing wrong with respect, but they are just human after all)

So the people who attended church because it was the done thing, or because they were afraid of meeting the priest in the street during the week and having to explain themselves, will now just not bother. Doesn't mean necessarily that people believe less, just that they are less inclined to keep up the pretence.

I was in Times Square Church last week in New York. Started by the late David Wilkerson in the 70's when the area was essentially a red light district swamped with hookers and porn cinemas. I had to queue for a seat in the main auditorium (held in a former broadway theatre) and they also have to pack out various side rooms and annexes with video feeds from the main stage. They have to hold 5 church services a week to cope with demand.
 
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imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
They have to hold 5 church services a week to cope with demand.

Sure - but the catchment-population must be... significant.
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
It's probably something to do with living in Wales, but... I've noticed among my work colleagues, that a large percentage of the 20-40 year old's regularly attend church.

What's even more interesting is that most of them are well educated, including PhD's and MSc's etc. - I've always struggled with the idea that you can be intelligent, logical *and* a believer, but that's another thread.

Still - Christianity seems to be on the rise here, mostly through the happy clappy evangelical brigade.

So I think we'll see old fashioned churches gradually all turn into houses, pubs and arts centres, while the 'modern' churches take over.

Alot of the Evangelical Christian growth in Wales is due to the Welsh Revival 1904 which has had lasting effect on the nation and will have a huge effect for some time.

Glad you're noticing the effects of it :)
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
I wouldn't, I wouldn't decide just because drugs don't work you gotta start believing in something. That sounds pretty illogical to me.

Berties, that's a bit like saying "I saw an advert for a Mars Bar yesterday but didn't buy one, so advertising doesn't work".

It's not as simple as what you think is logical. We're talking about the impact on tens of millions of people, and whether a combination of factors (of which I only gave one small example) might result in a few tens of thousands changing their behaviour.

Complex social behaviour patterns need a little more careful discussion than I expect they'll get at an internet forum.

Steve W
 

KhalJimbo

Distinguished Member
Sure - but the catchment-population must be... significant.

There is Churches in London that are the same, queues out the door to get in and around corners to get in.
 
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