Church of England is "one generation away from extinction"
Stark warning from former leader
The Church of England is "one generation away from extinction", the former Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.
Lord Carey, 78, said churchgoers should be "ashamed" of themselves for failing to invest more in young people and called for urgent action before its too late.
The outspoken Lord said that unless more was done to attract new worshipers then every one of the 43 CofE dioceses across the world could be wiped out within 25 years.
He also expressed fears that the modern church was too old fashioned and "not the most exciting place to meet new people".
The retired Anglican bishop was making a keynote speech at Holy Trinity Church in Shrewsbury, as part of the Shropshire Churches Conference 2013.
Addressing more than 300 church-goers he said: "I am convinced that churches can grow, must grow and should grow.
"But to sit in a cold church, looking at the back of people's heads, is perhaps not considered the most exciting place to meet new people and hear prophetic words.
"So we have a problem getting people to church because it is not something that is natural to people in their lives nowadays.
"There is a prevalent view that people don't want to hear what we have to say any more. How can we say that?
"There is so much violence, too many divided families, too little job security, too many young people with nothing to aim for.
"It is still the case that people are essentially looking for spiritual fulfilment. One of the most worrying, most urgent groups we need to invest in is young people.
"We ought to be ashamed of ourselves. We are one generation away from extinction - if we do not invest in young people there is going to be no-one in the future."
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