Three-quarters of clergy within the Church of England believe Britain can no longer be described as a Christian nation, according to a revealing new poll conducted by The Times.
The survey also uncovered that a majority of the clergy—53.4% to be precise—endorse the legalisation of same-sex marriages, while 36.5% oppose the notion.
The study holds further significance as it uncovers a prevalent sentiment of overwhelm among the clergy. Many express fears that the Church could face an existential crisis if the decline in attendance isn’t addressed forthwith.
The number of congregants attending Sunday services has seen a staggering decline since 1986, plummeting from 1.2 million to 690,000 in 2019. A striking one-third of the working clergy have seriously considered abandoning their vocation in the past five years, while 40% report feeling overburdened.
A mere 24.2% responded affirmatively when asked if Britain can still be described as a Christian nation. Meanwhile, 64.2% believed the label could be historically applicable, and 9.2% stated that Britain can’t be described as Christian at all.
These findings are supported by national statistics. Census data from 2021 revealed that for the first time, less than half of the population in England and Wales—46.2% to be exact—identified as religious.
Remarkably, a sweeping majority of clergy—exceeding 80%—are in favour of a woman ascending to the role of Archbishop of Canterbury.