Census 2022 reveals that only 44% of Australians believe in God.
Back in my school days, it was 90%.
Even less identify with a mainline Church.
In particular, the Uniting Church, of which I am an Elder, has had a significant drop in membership, 22% since the previous Census in 2016, with most now being over 70 years of age.
This means that the death of the Church is about a decade away.
Looking at the short history of the Uniting Church, it reveals a performance which is nothing less than a disaster.
45 years ago, I was one of the team that worked nationally to organise a union of Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational Churches and was present in Melbourne when all three Churches gathered to vote to create the Uniting Church of Australia.
We were able to announce that the new Church had 2.5 million members.
Census 2022 now reveals that the Uniting Church has only 670,000 members.
This means that 1.8 million members have been lost over a period of half a century even though the population of Australia increased by more than 25% during that time.
So it is that I regard my work in helping to create the new Church as being the greatest failure of my life and I cannot deny the fact that, as an active Elder for all of that time, I bear a share of the unavoidable responsibility for the disaster.
Why and how did it happen?
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