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Belief and affiliation: the decline continues

Fellow EAC members, our plans are on track and continue to bear fruit year on year on year - as new figures reveal:

In five decades, the number of people with no religion in Britain has grown from just 3 per cent of the population to nearly half, according to a new survey. Among adults aged under 25, nearly two-thirds define themselves as "nones", or people with no religious affiliation ... If the trends continue, Methodists will be extinct in a few decades and the Church of England also faces massive decline by the end of the century.

Only the Catholics are currently holding up, along with some minority faiths, in the mass move towards atheism and agnosticism in Britain.

Ben Clements of British Religion in Numbers has analysed the latest data from the first stage of the 2015 British Election Study, a survey of more than 20,000 people by a team of academics from Manchester, Oxford and Nottingham universities.

His results, posted on the British Religion in Numbers website, make for gloomy reading for most churches in the UK.

According to the results, nearly half the population, 44.7 per cent, now do not belong to any religion at all. Nearly a third identify as Church of England or Anglican and nearly one in ten as Catholic. Just 1.6 per cent identify as Muslim. Among those aged 18-24, just 14.2 per cent identify as Anglican, 8.5 per cent as Catholic and 11 per cent as other religion. Only among the over 65s are the numbers of Anglicans holding up, at 46.4 per cent.

In 1963, Anglicans made up 64.5 per cent of those questioned, compared to 31.1 per cent this year. Other Christian denominations also declined from 23.1 per cent to 7.6 per cent, while other faiths grew from 0.6 per cent to 7.5 per cent and Catholics also grew from 8.6 per cent to 9.1 per cent.

The biggest growth was among the "nones", though, up from 3.2 per cent to 44.7 per cent.

More women are likely to be Anglican and Catholic, and more men are likely to be nones.

In other news, 1 in 50 clergy don't believe in an external, literal, personalistic deity:

One in 50 Anglican clergy in the UK believes God is merely a human construct, according to a new survey today.

Just eight in ten believe there is a personal God and a further three in 100 believe there is some spirit or life force.

And in spite of two millennia of Church doctrine based on determining the mind of God through the Scriptures, nearly one in ten believes: "No-one can know what God is like."

The YouGov survey of more than 1,500 Anglican clergy commissioned by the Westminster Faith Debates for the current series on the future of the Church of England shows growing acceptance for other faiths, with more than four in ten believing that while Christianity is the "best path" to God, other religions may offer paths as well.

The future's bright. The future's: "God? Dunno. Couldn't care less, mate."  

See you all at the next meeting. Bring a bird and a bottle, etc.
Leonard James

Excellent news, and indicative of the fact that the truth will out in the end!
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