*** DEBUG END ***

‘Church of Eton’ and arithmetic challenged

27 June 2014


From Mr Richard Barnes
Sir, - There is a mathematical mistake in your report "Survey reveals falling numbers" (News, 20 June). The reduction in the percentage of people identifying themselves as C of E from 27 per cent in 2003 to 16 per cent in 2013 is a drop to, not of, 59 per cent of the 2003 figure. So the opening statement that the proportion has "more than halved" is also wrong; it has fallen by two-fifths.

Correcting the maths is easy; identifying the reasons is trickier. Obviously "C of E" is no longer the default answer that it used to be, while being spiritual, secular, or atheist has become more fashionable. Another decade of confusion over gender and sexuality cannot have helped, either.

Dare I also suggest, however, that the Archbishop of Canterbury's brave new Church of Eton, all Alpha and no Omega, may be off-putting to those whose faith is tenuous rather than strenuous, and who feel that they are no longer worthy to count themselves as Christian?

Since I am not healthy, wealthy, white-smiling, and driven, I sometimes wonder whether the Church would prefer me outside being missioned to rather than inside needing pastoral care.

7 Dinham Crescent
Exeter EX4 4EF

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)