The Church of England is bracing for a steep rise in apostates as church officials are now predicting a 50 percent decrease in attendance over the next three decades.
According to The Guardian, church finance chief John Spence said that the forecast is “much gloomier” than originally predicted and the decline is expected to continue for another three decades.
“On all likely measures of success, given the demographics of the church, it is unlikely we will see a net growth in church membership within the next 30 years,” said Spence. “I could have given you other facts, but I think you get the point.”
Spence also said that an 81-year-old was eight-times more likely to attend church than a 21-year-old.
At present, 18 people per 1,000 regularly attend church. Over the next 30 years that is expected to almost halve with only 10 per 1,000 people attending church.
Anglican Church officials have launched a $108 million program in hopes of modernizing the church and increasing by 50% the number of priests being trained to 600 recruits a year.
“The reference to 30 years is based on projections which assume no change, and underscore the importance of the renewal and reform programme,” said Arun Arora, an Church of England spokesperson.
“They do not factor in the changes being proposed. Most crucially, as the archbishop of Canterbury said this morning, we trust in the grace and transforming power of the spirit of God, who empowers and equips the church.”