So today, the Bishops of the Church of England lay into the politicians, well, the Tory ones mostly, for failing to run the country properly which, as far as I can judge, they think should be done by handing out other people's money willy-nilly to anyone who claims to need it. This is, roughly speaking, the current economic policy of the Labour party. It was also, more or less, the economic policy of the Labour party when it was in power just before the financial brown stuff hit the fan. Still, not to worry, I mean, what do Bishops know about economics?
In fact, what do Bishops know about running a church? Not much if one is to judge them by the number of customers:
The latest figures come from Statistics for Mission 2013, which was released on Monday. The report suggests that, on an average Sunday in October last year (when the figures were collated), a total of 849,500 people attended a C of E service.
In another measure, the Usual Sunday Attendance, 784,600 people attended. Forty years ago, the Usual Sunday Attendance figure was approximately 1.25 million, but population increases mean that the percentage of English residents who attend church has halved, from three to 1.5 per cent over this period. [My emphasis]
In recent years, Sunday attendance has continued to fall by a small amount each year. Five years ago, the C of E saw 823,000 people come through its doors on a Sunday.
If the Archbishop of Canterbury [my emphasis again!] were the Chairman of Marks & Spencer or Tesco and suffered a similar drop in 'customers' he would be forced to resign. But in any case, he would be far too busy trying to shore up his own organisation instead of pontificating about the way others run theirs.