September 2016

December 5, 2016

Thoughts From The Cottage

Dear Friends

What is happening to the church? Is it growing or is it declining? Here are some statistics to make us think as we begin to focus more closely on the numerical growth of the Beacon Church Centre.

According to Peter Brierley in his UK Church Statistics 2: 2010-2020 the actual number of churches increased between 2008-2013 and is expected to continue to do so  between 2013 and 2020.

  • 2008 total number of churches 49,727
  • 2013 total number of churches 50,660
  • 2020 estimated number of churches 51,275

Number of churches opening and closing 2008-2013 in each denomination:

  Anglican Baptists Independent Methodist New
Presbyterian (inc URC) Smaller
Opening 0 +1 +104 +4 +256 +640 +9 +1,937
Closing -324 -76 -112 -813 -4 -2 -183 -38
net diff. -324 -75 -8 -809 +252 +638 -174 +1,899

There are an estimated 2.3 billion Christians in the world (from CIA Factbook 2012). Christianity is the fastest growing faith by conversion and also by natural growth (births minus deaths). According to figures from the World Christian Encyclopaedia the number of new Christians each year is approximately 25 million which is 68,493 a day.

33.39% of the world’s population is Christian, 22.74% Muslim, 10.80% Hindu, 11.67%, 21.20% other religions and Atheists or no religion.

This is a great source of encouragement and if only we can stop focussing on our own decline and focus instead on why and how churches grow then we can see part of that growth in Rubery. Of course it will mean change and the Church Life Meeting on 6th September will be asked to consider some proposals relating to our way of working and the employment of a mission and outreach worker. It is the most important Church Life Meeting for many years and it is important that as many people as possible are present at it. It will be no good complaining afterwards if you don’t like what the meeting decides. We are in a very fortunate position to look at new ways of working because of our resources, both personnel and financial.

The combination of legacies, sale of property and availability of people has come together in a way that I believe can only come from God. Let us grab the opportunity now.