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Church of England could close thousands of churches in 2016

Church of England could close thousands of churches in 2016

Photo of St Mary’s, Newington

In a BBC video, the Revd Cannon Giles Fraser talks about the high cost of securing the steeple for St Mary’s, Newington, and says that clergy forced to manage buildings are left without the time needed to evangelize and proclaim the Gospel.

From the video:

“It’s not about the buildings. It’s actually about proclaiming the Gospel. Moses did fine in tents, and we can do fine in tents, too.”

The Church of England is investigating alternative uses for countryside churches, which may see as few as 10 visitors a week, and are in very low population areas. One suggestion is to reduce staffing and turn some of the low use churches into festival churches, churches which only operate during holidays.

The video is available at the BBC site.

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Harriett Mueller

Why not take in Christian refugees, say, from Syria and let them use the churches?

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Jim Siverson

I can certainly understand the repurposing of under utilized church properties, but it needs to be done delicately, with a sensitivity as to their historical nature. It's far too easy for us in the States to say just close them down if their not profitable. However, we're talking about some parishes that have been in place 400-500 years (or longer) than America. I like the idea of "festival" churches for high holy days like Christmas and Easter. I also think that these historic buildings can be utilized in a way to benefit both church and community in non-Church related ways. Each parish will need to be looked at individually, finding the best plan for that particular situation. We as a Church need to relate to the modern world, ever mindful of speaking to the modern heart. In doing that, however, we should never forget the lessons and legacy of the past. Preserving these wonderful old churches is one way to honor that past.

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Ted Thomas Martin

Outlived their usefulness, and far too costly to maintain, perhaps overbuilt..... possible use condos? But then some are apparently in the middle of nowhere I guess. I have seen even here in the states old churches which have simply become too costly to run or maintain, presenting huge financial burdens on the congregation? Time to downsize, no question about it, stop bleeding folk and coffers to maintain a time gone by. These are different times with different needs, we need to grow away from the past.

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