Wednesday, March 02, 2005


A report commissioned by a group called the Ecumenical Research Committee (which carried out a church survey in 2003, but is not formally linked to any of Britain and Ireland's recognised ecumenical bodies), says that the decline in church attendance in these islands is linked to two major factors. One is the reduction in effective pastoral care being offered by clergy, in particular. The other is the decline in effective Christian apologetics - the attempt to explain the nature of Christian faith and its plausibility for people in a post-Christian culture.

The findings, reported in this week's Church of England Newspaper, are derived from a yearlong £20,000 survey which attracted 14,000 respondents to a tick-box survey. Some 73 per cent of respondents either explicitly or implicitly referred to a lack of explanation for belief as a reason for the decline in church numbers and interest in Christianity.

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