05 March 2007

New Uses for Old Churches

In the latest issue of Scottish Life there is an article, New Uses for Old Churches. The author delineates the decline of the church in Scotland and what Scotland is now doing with these empty church buildings, many of which are in disrepair. The church buildings are being converted to used book stores, restaurants, recording studios, theatres, etc. In fact, there are so many church buildings available that the Scottish Civil Trust has issued a bulletin, 101 Uses for Redundant Church Buildings. Of course, this is due to the decline in church attendance. The author reports that “barely one Scot in ten attends church regularly, and three in five go rarely or never. Attendances are falling annually 2-3 percent.” The Church of Scotland has determined that they are losing 17,000 a year and in a country of just over five million, well, you do the math. “67% percent of Scots now identify themselves even distantly with any faith whatsoever.” “ These are not good times for organized religion in Europe, but in few places has the decline been more precipitate than in Scotland .”

This probably isn’t news for those in Scotland but its likely an eye-opener if you’re on this side of the pond. How far has the spiritual life of Scotland declined that it has come to this. For those of us who strive to remain diligent we must pray for a work of the Holy Spirit that will work for revival in this great land of our spiritual forefathers.

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