By Rev. Jules Gomes

Tis’ the season to be jolly! For this Christmas, bottoms clad in glamorous Gucci apparel will assiduously apply themselves to wiping off crusted pigeon poo from the pews of many parish churches in the Church of England. Attendance will peak at Christmas Services and plummet through the rest of the year, leaving the pious pigeons of St Feelomania’s Parish free to drop down from the heavens a fresh layer of avian excrescence.

Church attendance has plunged to its lowest ever. This marks a defining moment for the comatose Church of England in 2016 as it gurgles and gasps on life-support. Only 1.4 percent of the population now attend C of E services on Sundays. Numbers have nosedived to a mere 752,000 souls. Even the sanctified spin put on the figures by stirring in mid-week, occasional services, school services and Messy Church (a liturgical novelty minus the pigeon poo), keeps the numbers below a million at 961,000.

While the C of E is wheezing away like my old asthmatic auntie, Islam is growing. Its worshippers spill out from overcrowded mosques on to the streets—offering prayer five times a day. Conservative churches are growing. The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) is witnessing a new church plant or addition almost every week. An old nursery rhyme may hold the clue to solving The Mystery of the Disappearing Devotees in the C of E.  CONTINUE READING