Responding to the 2021 Census, which revealed that just 46.2% of people in England and Wales describe themselves as Christians, Salisbury Cathedral is holding a series of Lent Addresses that will explore some of the reasons why people may not be embracing Christianity.
Entitled simply 46.2%? the series of five talks, led by members of the cathedral clergy and the Bishop of Swindon, Dr Lee Rayfield, will take place in Sarum College every Monday during Lent.
Details of the individual events can be found below:
Science proves you’re wrong!
Religious faith is incompatible with the discoveries of empirically-based science? Led by the Bishop of Swindon, the Right Revd Dr Lee Rayfield, a former lecturer in immunology at the University of London.
Faith has no connection to the concerns of everyday living, which can be navigated successfully and ethically without recourse to a God. Led by The Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos, Dean of Salisbury.
You’re all bigots!
Faith is exclusive and has legitimised the ill-treatment of women, gay people and people of colour for generations. Led by Canon Anna Macham, Canon Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral.
Why does bad stuff happen?
Cancer and earthquakes: terrible calamities befall humanity and take the lives of the innocent every day. How can there be a supreme God? Led by Canon Kenneth Padley, Canon Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral.
You’re all corrupt…
The church is a wealthy institution which is concerned only to protect its interests and those of its people. Led by Canon Edward Probert, Canon Chancellor of Salisbury Cathedral.
Speaking about the series of talks, the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Revd Nicholas Papadopulos said: “The census results are by no means cataclysmic and can be interpreted in a number of ways, as can all statistics, but they are a signal that the church needs to stop and listen.
“People raise reasonable objections to Christian faith – we need to address these. That is what we hope to do in this series.”
The 46.2% Lent Addresses take place in Sarum College, 19 The Close, Salisbury SP1 2EE from 7.30pm to 8.30pm.
All are welcome and no booking is required. There will be time for questions each evening and sessions will conclude with prayer.