THE FUTURE OF THE Church of England looks bleak unless a downward spiral in membership is drastically reversed.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York gave the dire warning in a report for the General Synod meeting this February.

Normal Sunday attendance has halved in the past 40 years to only 800,000 people. Solutions suggested by the church leaders include more social media presence on the internet and redirecting resources. More priests are also needed within a decade as half the current clergy retire, a statistic seen in Sussex where increasing numbers of Anglican churches are leaderless for two years or more.

The report read: “The urgency of the challenge facing us in not in doubt.”

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