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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

we shouldn't be here by today

.......according to this article from the london times of 27th july 1971 

the organised church should have disappeared by now (2011) (allegedly reporting from an article by the secretary of the methodist conference)

tricky stuff this prophecy malarky eh?

(found at bishop alan's blog)

a close relation of the 1971 article is this article by adrian hamilton on the 18/4/11 independent web site. 

amongst an argument for dis-establishment of the church the author says "i can't help feeling - more than ever - that the church of england will not survive my children's lifetime and quite possibly not even my own"

phew - a reprieve then - say till 18/4/31 (I'm guessing from the journalist's photo)

(for adrian this is certainly a favourite subject 

- as his familiar "over the last few weeks, i have reluctantly come to the conclusion that the church of england is not going to survive my grandchildren's lifetime and very probably not my children's"  17/2/05 article demonstrates)

and then I stumble across this telegraph article reporting on a rev dr patrick richmond pointing to some projections saying the church would no longer be "functionally extant" within 20 years (so going by the article date that will be 2/7/31)

and lo and behold here we go again - this time its Lord Carey 'We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We are one generation away from extinction – if we do not invest in young people there is going to be no one in the future.'

so one generation away from extinction puts the date at somewhere in the 1st century of the 2nd millenium

this "the church will be no more in 20/30/40 years" story appears to be a regular space filler rolled out at regular intervals

anybody got any other examples of "the church end is nigh" for me to add to this post?

Various links 
 - this FT article - found via churchmouse - is a thoughtful look at this issue 
- a post by Peter Kirk linking to a 2008 Times article in the same vein 


  1. Thanks for this. It's quite a genre, and reminds me of Dr Arnold's comment of 1836 The Church of England.... no human power can save" — a very correct analysis...

  2. I suspect that this sort of prophecy has been made for about 2K years or so. Sure the church appears to be declining based on attendances, but that isn't the evidence in my benefice. 24 confirmations this year, mainly young adults. And a waiting list for this years classes, starting in August. Not sure what we're doing, rural benefice, doomed according to the pundits. But thriving despite it.

  3. See the article in The Times which I linked to in 2008. You will have to go behind a paywall to see it now. But the papers were full of this rubbish for a few days at that time.

  4. ta for the comment peter - i'll add the links into the growing blog on articles of this type