Declining attendance prompts Anglican bishop to propose closure of four Peterborough churches

The dwindling number of attendees has prompted the Anglican bishop in Peterborough in Ontario, Canada, to propose a new plan which includes the closure of four city churches and the joining together of the remaining congregations at the last Anglican church in the area.

(WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Ron Crough, Peterborough, ON Canada)St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, 118 Hunter Street, Peterborough, ON Canada. Main entrance. 26 September 2014.

During a meeting for all the members of the five Anglican churches in Peterborough, Rt Rev Riscylla Shaw, the bishop of Trent-Durham (Anglican Diocese of Toronto) brought up a plan to close St. Luke's Anglican, All Saints' Anglican, St. Barnabas Anglican, and Christ Evangelical Lutheran churches. She also proposed that the congregations be joined together at the St. John the Evangelist church, The Peterborough Examiner detailed.

In addition, Bishop Shaw suggested the construction of a new church on a property owned by the diocese at the southwest end of the city. The proposed new structure to be built on the southwest corner of Brealy Dr. and Sherbrooke St. aims to serve the increasing number of members in that particular area.

There has been a steep drop in church attendance which began four years ago, and the plan has been brewing for several years now. However, the congregations of all the Anglican churches in Peterborough would have to consider it first and vote before it can be approved.

In Wales, 115 Anglican churches have shut down in a period of 10 years, according to data from the Church in Wales. That figure accounts for 8 percent of the total number of Anglican churches in the area, and there are 1,319 that are still being used, the BBC reported.

The Church in Wales considered this closure as significant even though the sale rate of its properties has already steadied. Alex Glanville, the head of property, said they have been grouping 10 to 15 parishes and congregations in an area and considering which ones should be kept open.

Glanville explained that there were a lot of church buildings located in very small communities. He also identified the declining number of church attendees as a factor in the closures.