January issue takes in-depth look at state of church

Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal. Photo: Cenz07/Shutterstock
Published January 2, 2020

The January issue of the Anglican Journal is a 28-page report and reflection on the Anglican Church of Canada’s present and future, after the release of new church statistics. The issue is now available online.

Inside this issue, you’ll find in-depth reporting on this fall’s statistical report showing membership continuing to fall, with comments from church leaders. From house churches to merged congregations, we take a look at the changing face of Sunday morning, and we profile some ‘green shoots,’ parishes that have grown by reaching out to their communities. We hear from sociologist of religion Joel Thiessen on what’s driving congregational decline and growth in the 21st century, and get an update on a new electronic tool for statistics-gathering in the church.

Among those whom we’ve reached out to for reflection are renowned Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor, who spoke with us on why churches are losing members—and how Christians might see God’s work in this trend. We also hear from Bishop Maria Griselda Delgado del Carpio, of the Episcopal Church of Cuba, who tells us how her church made new disciples in the face of state-imposed atheism.

Since the young are the future of the church, we also asked for the thoughts of some Anglicans aged 20-40 on what needs to be done. We heard from Canon Martha Tatarnic, rector, St. George’s Anglican Church, St. Catharines, Ont.; the Rev. Cole Hartin, assistant curate, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Saint John, N.B.; the Rev. Orvin Lao, community connections pastor, Little Trinity, Toronto; the Rev. Alison Hari-Singh, assistant curate, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Toronto; Shilo Clark, youth member, Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples; Canon Jeffrey Metcalfe, canon theologian, diocese of Quebec and interim priest, St. Michael’s, Sillery, Que.; and the Rev. Leigh Silcox, PhD, priest-in-charge, St. Matthias’ Anglican Church, Toronto.

Of course, you’ll find more reflection on the present and future of the church in monthly columns by Archbishop Linda Nicholls, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop Mark MacDonald—as well as in a letter from Anglican Journal Editor Matthew Townsend. And, speaking of letters, our correspondence from readers includes two missives concerning one Canadian Anglican who attracted controversy this fall (background courtesy of the CBC).

This issue also keeps you up-to-date on some other recent developments in your church, including the election of a new bishop for the diocese of Athabasca, and the appointment of the Anglican Church of Canada’s new director of communications. You’ll also get a briefing on discussions from the November meeting of Council of General Synod (CoGS), on church finances, racial justice, the next meeting of Sacred Circle and the funding of the self-determining Indigenous Anglican church.

Read this issue’s articles on anglicanjournal.com or download the pdf version of the full issue here.


  • Tali Folkins

    Tali Folkins joined the Anglican Journal in 2015 as staff writer, and has served as editor since October 2021. He has worked as a staff reporter for Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His freelance writing credits include work for newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail and the former United Church Observer (now Broadview). He has a journalism degree from the University of King’s College and a master’s degree in Classics from Dalhousie University.

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