Paul Richardson, the assistant Bishop of Newcastle, in the June 27th edition of The Telegraph:
surviving for more than 30 years though few of its leaders are prepared to face that possibility. ...
If decline continues, Christian Research has estimated that in ﬁve years' time church closures will accelerate from their present rate of 30 a year to 200 a year as dwindling congregations ﬁnd the cost of keeping them open too great.
Perhaps the most worrying set of statistics for the Church of England is the decline in baptisms. Out of every
1,000 live births in England in 2006/7 only 128 were baptised as Anglicans.
The ﬁgure rises by a small amount if adult baptism and thanksgiving services are included but it is hard to see the Church of England being able to justify its position as the established church on the basis of these numbers.
By way of contrast, out of every 1,000 live births in England in 1900, 609 were baptised in the Church of England. Figures for church marriages show an equally catastrophic decline.
Richardson mulls over possible ways of staving off such decline and death, writing, "If Anglicans could acquire a stronger sense of who they are and what they believe they might slow the rate of decline and possibly even stabilise their numbers. They would still be a minority but they could be a creative minority. The trick will be to reach this situation without falling into a fundamentalist trap or cutting off links with the wider world." He suggests that Catholics might be a good guide in the quest for survival.