In an address to the London Press Club last year the
And so it is with those who look at the statistics of decline in the Anglican Church of Australia. Extrapolations from the halcyon days of the 1950s to our extinction in 40 years time from now ignore the range of responses churches are making to the decline, and forget that the 1950s was always going to result in decline at some point as the demographics of our church shifted against the demographics of society. (That is, we aged quicker than society in general.)
The important point is that continuing decline is not inevitable. Indeed, for those churches willing to face the facts and respond with trust and courage splashed with a little intelligence, there is a good prognosis for a flourishing life of faith. Now you won’t get that from The Advertiser with its penchant for headlines and simplistic analysis. But let us not be distracted by the lack of sensible analysis in the popular media. We have a real opportunity because there are many people who want Christian faith, and a Christian faith that has depth and a sense of reality and proportion about it. And that is our (middle-Anglican) natural ground. Moreover, there are many people around us who know virtually nothing about Christian faith, and who would respond to the gospel if given a chance.