LONDON (CBS DC) – One of England’s most respected clerics is warning that the Church of England faces doom unless it can attract young people back to the faith.

Former Archbishop of Canturbury Lord Carey delivered his dire prediction at the Shropshire Light Conference at Holy Trinity Church in Shrewsbury, reports The Telegraph.

Christianity is a “generation away from extinction” in Britain, he said, blaming a “feeling of defeat” among the clergy and a public that looks at the church with “rolled eyes and a yawn of boredom.”

Lord Carey said many Britons look upon going to church as a chore to be endured rather than a celebration of God’s love.

He lamented that the Church of England has stopped being vital part of the community.

“To sit in a cold church looking at the back of other peoples’ heads is surely not the best place to meet exciting people and to hear prophetic words,” he added.”

Lord Carey’s call was echoed by Dr. John Sentamu the Archbishop of York, who said the church must “evangelise or fossilise.”

A report before the Church England’s General Synod showed Sunday congregations have dropped by nearly 50 percent since 1970 to just 807,000 in the most recent figures.

Archbishop Sentamu urged the church engage in an ambitious program to enrich the spiritual lives of Britons, especially young people.

To do otherwise, he warned, would be disastrous.

“Tragically too often that is what we are doing – reorganising the structures, arguing over words and phrases, while the people of England are left floundering amid meaningless anxiety and despair.”


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