24 December 2013, The Tablet

Bishop says Christianity in Britain could be extinct in a generation

Christianity in Britain is a generation away from extinction, the Bishop of Shrewsbury will argue tonight in a homily at Midnight Mass.

Bishop Mark Davies will echo the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey who made similar remarks about the future of Christianity last month. “We are always a generation away from seeing the extinction of Christian faith in our own land if we fail to pass on the faith in its fullness to the generations who follow us,” Bishop Davies is to say.

Stating that Christians are now a minority, he is due to argue: “This Christmas we also cannot fail to recognise that Christianity in our own country is under threat not by violence or widespread discrimination but by neglect and a growing ignorance highlighted in last week’s ‘ComRes’ survey which found young, British adults confused between the Gospel and the story of Father Christmas.”

The bishop, who is to deliver the homily at Shrewsbury Cathedral, said that Christianity had been the most important element in England’s history shaping laws, culture and institutions.

But he will explain: “this bright light will fade unless we value anew the Christian inheritance. It will fade unless we are ready as a Christian minority in this land to give witness to our faith with the courage we see in so many Christians around the world.” He goes on: “just as the festive lights now brightening our darkened streets will soon be taken down for another year, the light of Christmas can as quickly fade for each generation unless we take to heart the news of great joy announced on this night.” Bishop Davies will also call for prayers for Christians in the Middle East who he says are facing violence, discrimination and even extinction.

Last year the bishop used his Midnight Mass homily to link plans to legislate for same-sex marriage to the way Nazism and Communism undermined Christian civilisation.

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