Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Case of the Disappearing Churches

We visited a church today called Augustine United Reformed Church. From the looks on the outside we expected large cathedral type church, but we walked in to something very small with only about 40 people seated inside. We could not help but notice that the church comprised mostly of elderly, with a few children and older parents, and a few University aged adults.

After church we were invited to have tea, coffee, and biscits with them. They people were very friendly and we ended up chatting with various people until well after the church doors were locked. One of the elderly ladies took it upon herself to introduce us to the other Uni students whom she had just met herself. We spoke for a while with a young lady from Australia who is not a student right now but a social worker. We found common ground on this subject and compared how social work is done here to how it is done in Australia and in the States.

After expanding my social life to that outside of the Uni, I am finding myself rather out of place as far as education. All of the women I have met (other than the undergrads and post-grads) already have their Master's and many are working towards their PhD. Now I find that this is the case not only within the Uni society, but also without. It is almost assumed that I am a student as well. When I say that I am just working I almost feel ashamed that I don't have a particular line of work that I am looking in. People are highly educated here, and the system makes it easy for them to be. The cost of tuition at any UK Uni is subsidised for UK residents.

Now, about my title. Before we arrived we had heard statistics that the church in Scotland is disappearing. One congregation a week folds and at that rate they predict the church will be gone by the year 2042. We definately saw evidence of that as we walked the streets our first couple of days here. It seems that on nearly every street there is an old, massive church building that has been converted into a theater, hostle, or restaurant. We would find this also in Chicago, but nothing like this. The church we visited today I think is a case in point. The church is "literally" dying. There are the elderly faithful, but only a few from the generation after my parents' and younger. It is a sad thing to see in such a "Christian" nation.

1 comment:

Spence said...

Just wanted to say HI!!!