Nearly a Third of Episcopal Parishes Expected to Close
August 29, 2011 Leave a comment
A new study of the state of the 2.3 million Episcopal Church in America has found that a third of the 6,825 parishes in the U.S. have an average Sunday attendance of 40 or less and one of the main reasons cited for the decline is the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop in 2003.
Virtueonline (VOL) is reporting that their study of the state of the Episcopal Church in the U.S. reveals a church in steep decline. In addition to low attendance at a third of all parishes, more than 2,000 consist of congregations of aging parishioners in their mid-60′s where little or no chance of a turnaround is seen for the foreseeable future. The church is experiencing a dearth of young people and those being trained in the church’s liberal seminaries will “have no message that is discernibly different from the prevailing culture,” VOL reports.
“VOL believes that the figure of 2.3 million Episcopalians, regularly stated by TEC [The Episcopal Church] leaders and officials, does not reveal the true state of church attendance. More than two-thirds of this figure have either died, left the church, or attend twice a year, along with tens of thousands still on church rolls who have never been (and should be) removed.”
What this means is that within the next three to five years, more than 2,000 churches will be forced to close or merge, regardless of their financial health, simply because there are not enough people to keep the doors open.
As a result, hundreds of clergy will be forced into early retirement or to take up a second job just to keep their doors open for the few parishioners they have left…
The above and more here.