Hundreds gather in Trafalgar Square to pray for the UK
The event called the London Prayer and Worship Festival - organised by Kingdom Impact Vision International (KIVI) - brought together congregations from several denominations to worship and evangelise in the centre of London on Saturday.
Christians from various denominations prayed for the UK and the ongoing crisis that traditional churches have to struggle with. The Festival featured some distinguished performers, such as gospel singer Noel Robinson, the Neema Choir from Uganda and the Spanish Community Choir. KIVI has organised similar evangelistic outreach events across the UK.
The Church of England is one of the major traditional organisations facing severe decline. It began its ministry at the end of the sixth century. Since then not only has it provided for the spiritual needs of local communities, it also contributed significantly to people’s physical well-being.
The present generation has largely lost its appreciation for the Church of England’s work. This is shown not only by the decline in the number of people attending services, but also by the way in which the Church of England is covered by the media.
According to a study created by Dr John Hayward, a mathematician at the University of South Wales and the founder of the church-growth modelling site, the Church of England faces extinction within 40 years. Dr Hayward analysed data from 13 denominations to calculate their R-rate — a technique used in calculating the spread of disease. He applied this model to church attendance and found that the Church of England and Roman Catholic churches across the UK have R numbers of just over 0.9; which means they could vanish by 2062.
“One thing is clear, if things carry on as they are, the future of Christianity does not lie in the hands of the older denominations” said Dr Hayward. “The Church of England will cease to be a national Church, and the Churches of Scotland and Wales will disappear by the middle of this century. Instead, God will work through the next cycle of denominations — Pentecostal and Evangelical ones, picking up the pieces left by the extinct historic churches.”
We have to remember that “Models are based on assumptions. Thus, they are unlikely to capture a given Church’s membership dynamics fully. Secondly, models make forecasts, not predictions. There are always random events that prevent an accurate description of the Church’s numerical future. Also, the data is rarely that accurate or consistent. However, the forecasts can help Churches examine their policies to enhance growth or combat decline.”