Britain is no longer a Christian nation, claims Church of England Bishop

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Britain is no longer a Christian nation and the Church of England could die out within a generation, an Anglican bishop has warned.

The Rt Rev Paul Richardson said declining church attendance and the rise in multiculturalism meant that "Christian Britain is dead".

He criticised his fellow bishops for failing to appreciate the scale of the crisis and warned that their inaction could seal the Church's fate.

As one of the Church's longest-serving bishops, the comments by the assistant Bishop of Newcastle are set to fuel the debate over its future.

The General Synod, the Church's parliament, will next month consider proposals to cut the number of bishops and senior clergy amid fears over the Church's finances.

Writing for The Sunday Telegraph, Bishop Richardson said: "Many bishops prefer to turn their heads, to carry on as if nothing has changed, rather than face the reality that Britain is no longer a Christian nation.

"Many of them think that we are still living in the 1950s – a period described by historians as representing a hey day for the established church."

He said that the Church had lost more than one in ten of its regular worshippers between 1996 and 2006, with a fall from more than one million to 880,000.

"At this rate it is hard to see the church surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility," said Bishop Richardson.

Nearly half of the population in England regard themselves as belonging to the Church of England, while seven in ten described themselves as Christian in the last census.

However, the Bishop said that the fall in church marriages and baptisms revealed that Britain was no longer a Christian nation.

The number of babies being baptised has fallen from 609 in every 1,000 at the turn of the twentieth century to only 128 in 2006/7 and church marriages have also dropped.

Bishop Richardson said: "The church is being hit by a double whammy: on the one hand it confronts the challenge of institutional decline but on the other hand it has to face the rise of cultural and religious pluralism in Britain."

He says that the way the Church responds to this will be "crucial in determining whether it will be able to survive as a viable organisation and make a contribution to national life".

"At present church leaders show little signs of understanding the situation. They don't understand the culture we now live in."

The bishop believed it is inevitable that disestablishment will happen and suggests that the Church should take a lead on the issue rather than being dictated to by Parliament.

"Rather than try to cling on to their places in the House of Lords, they should take the initiative by withdrawing, which shows that they appreciate Christian Britain is dead."

Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has also delivered a bleak assessment of the future of Christianity in this country, claiming previously that Britain's Churches are in such serious decline that if they were shops they would have been declared bankrupt long ago. continues here

He’s right of course, “Christianity is dead”, it died some time ago, yet they still persist with the act and it is an act, thousands across this land, still participating in a tradition that its own leaders have relentlessly destroyed. Today Christianity is unfashionable, to profess faith sets one up for scorn, gone are the days when “men of the cloth” were heeded, let alone respected, today “men of the cloth” are irrelevant, their mutterings archaic and their conviction a thing of fun. Tough words, yet true and in so many ways they brought it all upon themselves, betray your parishioners and they are liable to disown you, adopt practices that impinge upon tradition and they are loath to despise you, side with your own enemies and you bring your own house down around your ears.

All of this and more you have done until finally you have helped create a pluralist at best and at worst, a deeply secular society, instead of defending us you abandoned us, instead of shielding us, you helped take down our defence brick by brick. Soon none of this will matter, truly your days are numbered, one day Christianity will be a minority religion, a dog barking at an unheeding moon, the crescent shall turn its face as now do the people. Christianity had its faults, it was not perfect yet shaped by our ancestors it served our country, its people and shaped the landscape, today it does neither.

Today it is but a shell of what it was, today it is recognised for one thing and one thing only betraying us, betraying us all in our hour of need, words of compassion were twisted, interpretations spun, until every organ of Christianity worked against the people, until the church in all its forms worked against us. You’ll never regain your place, never again be such a part of us all, it is a loss for us and for you, we did not deserve your betrayal, did not deserve to be cast out, did not deserve to witness your abject allegiance to anti-nation practice.

Whilst you were aiding others we quietly slipped away, we rose from the pews en-masse never to return, we blocked our ears to your terrible lies, your twisted words and your party-line, until finally those that once loved you regard you now with contempt. You stood by as they murdered our young , just as you stand by now as they drive us to extinction, even now, even now as you face your abyss, your end, before even we, you side with malignancy, side with tyranny, dressed up as benevolence.

Today Christians, those that are left, are harried, driven out, ridiculed, condemned as extremists, look what you have done, permitted the greatest evil and left us to die, speak out now and many will rush to your banner, take up the cross and make you whole again, yet you will not, you will permit your own death and in so doing our own. Too intent upon Africa you did not look locally, to intent upon giving aid to those that would replace us, you condemned us to death, too swayed by leftist dogma you prized Marx before god and now, now you face your end.

Don’t cry to us Christianity, don’t expect us to mourn, lest not this new twisted version of Christianity you present but only the old, the heritage you corrupted and we stand to lose but we shall not mourn for you. Will none of you stand as so many brave Christian souls once did, will none of you condemn this evil they commit against us, will none wipe our brow and wash our wounds, will none stand with us even as they spear our side. For forty years the church has gone against its own teachings, it has used scripture to pervert truth, ironically the major victim has been the church, until few will stand for you now, you are such a part of England, such an integral part, yet we must let you go because you gave us no choice, no option, no chance.

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