Church attendance is in decline and that trend is especially true for congregations from Canada's mainline Protestant denominations. Since the 1960s, membership in those churches has been halved, even as Canada’s population has more than doubled.
But not so fast. There is a new surge of vitality among many Anglican, United, Presbyterian and Lutheran churches – the big four of Canadian mainline Protestantism. Some are attracting growing memberships and a younger demographic, while many are attracting congregants willing to drive long distances to worship.
A Chatham native who is an associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University is co-author of a study that’s found that not only are some mainline Protestant denominations growing, but they know why: Growing churches promote traditional conservative theological beliefs with an unshakeable emphasis on the reality of the New Testament message.
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