Eaton vicar warns church faces ageing crisis

The Church of England will no longer be 'functionally extant' in 20 years time according to some projections, a Norwich vicar has warned.

The Rev Dr Patrick Richmond, from Christ Church in Eaton, told members of the Church's national assembly that they were facing a 'perfect storm' of ageing congregations and falling clergy numbers.

'The perfect storm we can see forming on the far horizon is the ageing congregations we have heard about - average age is 61 now, with many congregations above that,' he said.

'These congregations will be led by fewer and fewer stipendiary clergy ... 2020 apparently is when our congregations start falling through the floor because of just natural wastage, that is people dying.'