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News > UK >

Lord Carey warns of Church’s extinction

by a staff reporter

SHUTTERSTOCK

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Extinct: the Dodo, or Raphus cucullatus 

Credit: SHUTTERSTOCK

Extinct: the Dodo, or Raphus cucullatus 

THE Church must change, or face extinction in the next generation, a former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey, has warned.

In an address to Shropshire Light, a Christian conference on Saturday in Holy Trinity, Meole Brace, Shrewsbury, he said that people did not see church as a "place where great things happen", but instead mention of it was met with "the shrug of indifference, the rolled eyes of embarrassment, the yawn of boredom".

He said that, for many clergy, any joy in ministry had been replaced by a feeling of "heaviness" and defeatism, and that Muslim communities had more energy than churches.

Churchgoers needed to move beyond just "keeping the machine going" to an "expectation for transformed lives", he said. Every church should be working for its community, through foodbanks, credit unions, or other ministries.

He warned, however: "So many churches have no ministry to young people, and that means they have no interest in the future. As I have repeated many times in the past, we are one generation away from extinction. We have to give cogent reasons to young people why the Christian faith is relevant to them."

This week at the General Synod, the Archbishop of York called for the Church to "evangelise or fossilise". "Compared with evangelism, everything else is like rearranging the furniture when the house is on fire," Dr Sentamu said.

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