Clergy salaries in the Church of England averaged only $4,000 last year. Inflation is running at 26 per cent a year for the country, but the denomination has asked its parishioners to increase weekly donations by 40 per cent. Church leaders hope with increased giving to raise clergy stipends by $800. Many clergymen must supplement their income by teaching or taking in lodgers.
And the Church of England is losing membership—it dropped one million communicants in twenty years—and is trying to reduce costs by closing parishes and schools. In recent years the church has closed 500 parishes, and there are 2,500 fewer parish priests than in 1969. Leaders predict a loss of 3,000 more ministers by 1980. The 130-year-old Anglican Church of All Saints and St. Barnabas, a 13,000-member parish, averages about twenty persons per Sunday service.
Controversial Donald Coggan, 66, who a year ago became the archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, has launched what may become known as the “Coggan Quadrilateral,” a campaign to get Britons back to the basics: “Each man and woman matters; the family matters; good work matters; the other fellow matters.”
On radio and television interviews, telephone talk shows, and press conferences Coggan has claimed that Britons are drifting anchorless: “The tide of stark materialism, envy, and selfishness” must stop. “Guzzling doesn’t satisfy. Grabbing and getting is a poor creed.” Coggan himself has voluntarily reduced his salary from $21,600 a year to an undisclosed figure. Many of the church’s forty-two diocesan bishops, following Coggan’s lead, have refused their $690 salary increases voted last spring.
Coggan has called for small groups of people—Christians and non-Christians—across ...1
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