The Church Times and the Church of England Newspaper both give details of the statistics of Church Attendance in 2009 which showed a drop of 1%. In 2009 average Sunday attendance was 944,000 compared to 2008 of 960,000 and 2007 of 978,000. Monthly attendance had dropped from 1.667 million in 2008 to 1.651 million in 2009. Church House said that the total number attending church dropped by 2% overall in the seven years from 2002. Despite the spin put on these figures they are nothing if not depressing. Attendance dropped at an alarming rate during the 70s, 80s and 90s but, although the figures show that the rate of decline is not as great as it was, it is still continuing.
We were told way back in the 90s that the ordination of women would halt this trend but instead it has continued albeit at a slower rate. We were told then that the ordination of women would bring people back to church – it hasn’t. What I have noticed in many places is that both Anglo-Catholic Churches and Evangelical Churches who are against the ordination of women to the priesthood have experienced significant growth. Perhaps there is message here?