LAST week’s Herald reported on the possible closure of two more Worthing churches. It is sad to see these buildings close and their traditions die, but we need to recognise that we are witnessing an inevitable process of decline in supernatural belief.
Other than those with vivid imaginations, nowadays few people from a Christian background retain any belief in a God. The past 100 years has produced scientific evidence, which clearly demonstrates the creation of the earth had no involvement from anything other than natural events, fantastic though they have been.
Recently, we have had numerous television series demonstrating that a belief in a God and a Heaven is quite unsustainable. These programmes will have been watched by many young people, the first generation to have had wide exposure to clear and accurate information on the true origins of man. The knowledge gleaned from such programmes is inevitably accelerating the decline in “belief”. My guess is most current churchgoers are from older generations and once they have gone, the remaining followers of Christianity in the UK will be a very marginalised minority.
We have to accept that 2,000 years of Christian “belief” is coming to an end, as more and more people decide that going to church is a waste of time and emotion. The logic is that one day there will be only one place of Christian “worship” in Worthing. Perhaps this in itself will be progress as there was surely little sense in having so many different ways to worship the same God?
We will be left with an increasing number of large, empty buildings, a challenge for the town, as there will be an understandable wish to retain them, mainly out of sentiment.
Perhaps some can be found an alternative use, but as Victorian gothic was a rather gloomy architectural style, it might be best to knock these structures down and replace them with something modern and cheerful, buildings that look forward rather than into a fanciful past.