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Anglican Church facing the threat of extinction

NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

+_+


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NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

Now if only the same thing could happen to the RC Church. Wink

Anglicanism in Canada could disappear within a generation, says a report that recommends closing churches in B.C.

 

The Anglican Church in Canada – once as powerful in the nation's secular life as it was in its soul – may be only a generation away from extinction, says a just-published assessment of the church's future.

The report, prepared for the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, calls Canada a post-Christian society in which Anglicanism is declining faster than any other denomination. It says the church has been “moved to the far margins of public life.”

According to the report, the diocese – “like most across Canada” – is in crisis. The report repeats, without qualification or question, the results of a controversial study presented to Anglican bishops five years ago that said that at the present rate of decline – a loss of 13,000 members per year – only one Anglican would be left in Canada by 2061.

It points out that just half a century ago, 40 per cent of Vancouver Island's population was Anglican; now the figure is 1.2 per cent. Nationally, between 1961 and 2001, the church lost 53 per cent of its membership, declining to 642,000 from 1.36 million. Between 1991 and 2001 alone, it declined by 20 per cent.

Regular attendance is declining at all Canadian Christian churches, except for the Roman Catholic Church, whose small increase is attributed to immigration.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/british-columbia/anglican-church-facing-the-threat-of-extinction/article1462222/


Boom Boom
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I posted the declining status of the Anglican Diocese of Quebec a while ago - want me to repost it?


NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

Sure Boom Boom


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Actually, this is an update to the last story: Quebec diocese works toward 'new reality'

 

excerpt:

 

Last October, Bishop Drainville told the House of Bishops that 60 per cent of Quebec congregations have few or no children. In 35 congregations, the average age is 75 years with only 8 to 10 people attending Sunday services. "We used to have 25,000 Anglicans in 82 churches," says Archdeacon Myers. "Now it's closer to 8,000. We need to face this new reality."

 

and a note of optimism:

 

However, while facing challenges is the "first step," there is also new growth. Archdeacon Myers, who is 36, says most of the new clergy coming into the diocese are young and bilingual. And this is attracting young families.


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

I'm always conflicted, churches are often likely the main way people get together.  I know there's lot's of good churches but I think they're in the minority.  What's the transition to?  Will society still build "real" communities?


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I'm glad I'll be dead before the Anglican Church becomes extinct. For the most part it's been a progressive home for me - in social action, advocacy, worship, and a place to gather. Although we have our share of dinosaurs, we also have our share of NDP'ers who have been active in our church.


j.m.
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Joined: Dec 20 2009

RevolutionPlease wrote:

I'm always conflicted, churches are often likely the main way people get together.  I know there's lot's of good churches but I think they're in the minority.  What's the transition to?  Will society still build "real" communities?

I agree; churches are incredible places for holding together communities. But when they are built on the premises of social exclusion, patronizing "sinners", and elitism through service of god I can hardly support them.

For these reasons I can only hope that Christian Reform churches, conservative evangelist, protestant, anglican churches and conservative Catholic prelatures/territories are in crisis for membership.


bagkitty
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Joined: Aug 27 2008

They are also an excellent source of buildings that can be converted to, oh, I don't know... day car centers or such like.


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

I hope there's a solution for the vacuum.


RevolutionPlease
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Hey j.m., you seemed to exclude RC churches.  Tongue out

 

Nothing gets me by. 


j.m.
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Joined: Dec 20 2009

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Hey j.m., you seemed to exclude RC churches.  Tongue out

 

Nothing gets me by. 

 

Actually, a few years ago I dedicated a blog to a Conservative RC movement run by Latin American elites that now not-so-innocently operate in North America. I still have faith in the parishes with recent roots in liberation theology and subsequent progressive movements - basically anything Ratzinger tried to squash prior to 'Pope-hood'.


I've been working on taming my anger towards the RC, but I normally reserve the sharpest knife in the drawer for them.

 


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

So, how do we deal with this?


j.m.
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Joined: Dec 20 2009

RevolutionPlease wrote:

So, how do we deal with this?

We keep sharpening the knives? Take knife-throwing lessons?


RevolutionPlease
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Joined: Oct 15 2007

Naw, just deflection lessons.  Why reserve a bullet for RC when they should be first on the list?


j.m.
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Joined: Dec 20 2009

RevolutionPlease wrote:

Naw, just deflection lessons.  Why reserve a bullet for RC when they should be first on the list?

I think consistent insults where due are an important strategy. The major movements in the RC are constantly trying to remake their image and pass as benign while spewing the same harmful bullshit (and it ain't even about god!). Everytime they fuck up I like being there.


Boom Boom
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The Synod of the Church of England (mother church of the Anglican Communion) just voted in favour of full pension rights for civil clergy (gay) partners.

Took them long enough, but they're ahead of Rome.


doodle21
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Joined: Feb 3 2010

Boom Boom wrote:

The Synod of the Church of England (mother church of the Anglican Communion) just voted in favour of full pension rights for civil clergy (gay) partners.

Took them long enough, but they're ahead of Rome.

 

Ahead of Rome in the march to extinction.

 

No organized religion in the current world will bring progressives to it. Look at the United Church. It is about as progressive as I imagine any Christian group could be. It's dying.

 

Rome will continue on long after Anglicanism is a memory because it doesn't try to adapt to current thinking. It appeals to traditionalists and right wing people. It doesn't try to appeal to those whose values are antithetical to it.

 

It's nice that the Anglicans are voting in favor of fullpension rights. It won't matter any - they alienate the people that might be attracted to the organization but it won't draw in new people.

 


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

RevolutionPlease wrote:

I'm always conflicted, churches are often likely the main way people get together.  I know there's lot's of good churches but I think they're in the minority.  What's the transition to?  Will society still build "real" communities?

From what I've read, the more fundamentalist Xian denominations are among the fastest growing segments in North America.


NorthReport
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Joined: Jul 6 2008

Unfortunately, and quite scary actually.


Sven
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Joined: Jul 22 2005

Indeed.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I agree with all of the above, sadly. Frown


Le T
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Joined: Oct 17 2004

Quote:
From what I've read, the more fundamentalist Xian denominations are among the fastest growing segments in North America.

 

Part of this is that "fundamentalist" xian groups (we know what you're saying but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that RCs aren't fundamentalists) are popular in many places around the world that remain more religious than "post-christian" Canada.

Also, the Unitarian Universalist movement in North America is one of the few growing "religions" (some UUs would take offence to being characterised as a religion). Some of the UU congregations that i've visited were over-flowing with lapsed Anglicans, Uniteds and Catholics.

It's interesting that a pluralistic, queer positive "church" is stealing members from the old haters.


Caissa
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Joined: Jun 14 2006

I must say that if I ever left the Anglican Church, our local UU congregation and an affirming United Congregation would be the top candidates as my new home.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Anglican Power Play

The proposed Covenant is the culmination of a conservative and homophobic drive for power in the Anglican Communion

 

ETA: I think, ultimately, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church of the USA will leave the Anglican Communion and form their own union. The church in North America is simply too progressive for the rest of the Anglican Communion to stomach, although that word 'progressive' is relative. Wink

 

 


Frustrated Mess
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Joined: Feb 23 2005

It would be nice if one of the dying churches, Anglican or United, would open their doors to become a non-denominational church open to non-Christians and even atheists.


Aristotleded24
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Joined: May 24 2005

Frustrated Mess wrote:
It would be nice if one of the dying churches, Anglican or United, would open their doors to become a non-denominational church open to non-Christians and even atheists.

What do you mean? Most United Churches already are open to non-Christians and athiests. The thing is that the United Church is a Christian community, and most athiests and non-Christians won't attend church no matter what you do.


Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

Interesting thought there, FM. Many churches have opened their doors to the hungry - regardless of religious affiliation, if any - for many decades, and serve hot meals, give free donated clothing, and in some cases offer a food bank, counselling, medical services, and other stuff. I've been a volunteer at Anglican and United Church soup kitchens and food banks in the past. However, these 'activist' (terrible word, but what else fits?) churches are probably a small percentage of their respective denominations. But probably all churches, respective of whatever denomination, support their churches annual appeals for community works and emergency relief all over the world. My impression is that when clergy see a clear need, they respond, but their response may not always be clearly visible.


Unionist
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Joined: Dec 11 2005
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Frustrated Mess wrote:
It would be nice if one of the dying churches, Anglican or United, would open their doors to become a non-denominational church open to non-Christians and even atheists.

What do you mean? Most United Churches already are open to non-Christians and athiests. The thing is that the United Church is a Christian community, and most athiests and non-Christians won't attend church no matter what you do.

I think you missed the part of FM's post where the church would become "non-denominational". We realize that all churches welcome converts. But name me one church that's willing to convert. Without entrenched sectarianism, religion would instantly become obsolete. Divide and pray.

Boom Boom
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Joined: Dec 29 2004

I think there are non-denominational churches, but these tend to be independent. I almost typed "...and small" but these non-denminational churches can be mega-churches with a charismatic leader.

I think organised religion is holding on and surviving, but churches are still closing. You occasionally hear of new churches being built and consecrated in new suburban areas, but I suspect those members have moved from other churches that will consequently feel a drop in membership.

I think the church will be with us for a while yet, but I'd be very surprised to see much growth - I think many see the church as an anachronism in this modern age.


George Victor
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Joined: Oct 28 2007

Yes, the institution is an "anachronism" Boomer.  But you would not BELIEVE the uplift one gets from a service backed by the "Sydney St. Trio", a really GOOD jazz group - pianist, guitar and drums - that plays a dozen pieces throughout the service in a local Unitarian gathering...and one doesn't have to listen to "the word" according to John once !

Or maybe you WOULD?   :)

 


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