One has to start with the facts, and they are brutal. All Christian denominations in the northern hemisphere are continuing to experience numerical decline, according to best estimates. This now includes evangelicals and charismatics (whose numbers show distinct signs of falling into recession) and Pentecostals (stalling, though churches of the diaspora and global south continue to grow). Many churches have had to contend not only with fewer adherents, but also marked changes in intensity of belief and commitment.
For some decades, the outlook for religious belief in England has been a case of decidedly mixed weather, bordering on the bleak. Despite some sunny intervals, the chill winds of secularisation have impacted religious attendance and observance. A greater pluralisation of non-Christian religions has led to growing demands for less privilege for the Anglican church and more equality between belief systems. Within churches, there is fragmentation, turbo-charged by increasingly heated…
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