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Have you given up going to church but used to attend ?

(104 Posts)
Floradora9 Tue 04-Oct-22 20:45:03

In our town of 6,000 or so people we used to have lots of churches but they are slowly closing . I cannot say it upsets me because I feel they have outlived their time . I went to church every week as a child not with my parents but with an aunt . I joined the church and was a Sunday School teacher and was married in the same church . After we had children we went to church most weeks and sent the children off to Sunday school and they maintained their link with the same chuch until going off to university. We moved house and I went to church in the new place for a time but found it so unwelcoming and disliked the minister's attitude so much that we severed all links with it . I do not know how churches keep going with the same old forula of services with nothing to attract young people . I feel those running food banks , Samaritans etc. are doing far more good than those attending church but doing no good for the comunity. I felt a real sense of community at one time in our church but no longer .

ginny Wed 05-Oct-22 10:26:08

Like Kate1049 . I realised I only believed because I was forced to/indoctrinated. When I was old enough to think for myself, I did so.

ginny Wed 05-Oct-22 10:30:29

Urmstogran. that is just the way I think too.
Thanks for putting it into words.

Kate1949 Wed 05-Oct-22 10:38:57

A few years ago, my staunch Catholic cousins in Ireland were horrified that me and my siblings were no longer believers. When we last met up, most of them no longer practised their religion after being disgusted with the behaviour of the Catholic Church in Ireland

bluebird243 Wed 05-Oct-22 10:45:55

I used to go to Sunday school every Sunday and also with my Grandmother in the evenings, for years.

When an adult I used to have meetings with someone from the local Baptist for a long time. I asked to be Baptised and was refused! Because I wasn't a member. Ok. I then left the area.

I went to another small chapel in the new town and got to know people there. It was non denominational and I went there for a few months. One day 2 or3 of them were in the street trying to engage with the general public. I stopped to talk to them. They told me not to. To never talk to them when they were on their 'mission'. I was dumbstruck. I didn't go back there.

I went to another Baptist church some time after that. I did not like the happy, clappy guitar playing music. I knew none of the songs, not a hymn in sight. Call me old fashioned I can't see anything wrong with using the organ which was there and keeping to hymns. This new hand waving, trendy stuff puts loads of people off. I know that for a fact.

The minister whilst being so friendly and genial when I would leave the place after a service then proceeded to snub me spectacularly in a local shop...only me and him in there. I left.

Given up on all of it. I've a family member who is a dedicated church member who treats other members better than her own family and is quite frankly a hypocrite. It's not for me.

Jaffacake2 Wed 05-Oct-22 11:13:20

I had a very mixed background with my father coming from a lapsed Jewish family and my mother being salvation army. But they both thought you should put your religious ideas into practice by helping humanity. Our house was open to anyone on our rough estate to have tea and a friendly chat.
This seemed to be in sharp contrast to churches I have been to where the congregation shake hands for "peace be with you " but then do not take this outside and can be quite unfriendly.
I have a faith and will often seek solace in a church when I feel the need. But I don't go to many services where people chant and recite but don't practice outside of church walls.

Norah Wed 05-Oct-22 11:20:45

No, we still attend regularly. Church is central to our life.

Septimia Wed 05-Oct-22 11:27:55

I still attend regularly and am busy trying to involve our small community in activities in and around the church - not just religious ones, but care of the churchyard, social events etc. with some small success. Our church is very old and I find the thought of the centuries of worship and the difficulties people and clergy must have had in the past more inspiring than the services.

nanna8 Wed 05-Oct-22 11:36:59

I was surrounded by atheists. My father detested churches and had no faith. When I started to think for myself I became a believer.

bluebird243 Wed 05-Oct-22 11:50:04

I have my own personal beliefs and spiritual experiences which are strong enough that I don't now need to involve buildings, church leaders or cliques of people who do not practice what they preach.

Mamissimo Wed 05-Oct-22 12:01:19

When I was young I was a committed Church attender and worked hard for my community, in which the Church was central. We held jumble sales, ran youth clubs, supplied leaders for Guides, Scouts....we had a Mothers' Union, working parties...the Church in our suburb was a community hub.

A bit like the BBC it lost its way in chasing the youth membership. Young people tend to sniff out the truth when organisations make offbeam overtures to entice them. In trying too hard to attract the young to Church they lost their willing congregation because their words of comfort and the purpose of their role as a congregation had been degraded.

When I was an active member of the Church coming together to worship was natural because we all knew other and supported each other. It was a collective act of peace, reflection and encouragement to reset the week.

I think spirituality develops slowly and gently as we mature, as does genuine caring support for others. It can't be forced but needs nurturing by example. Those who work in community pantries and food banks, St John's Ambulance, the covid helpers etc are more inspiring in their selflessness and to me represent the active congregation missing from the church.

Judy54 Wed 05-Oct-22 12:58:48

Like others I was brought up a Catholic but over the years I fell out of love with the Catholic church. I now attend a lovely Anglican church and could not be happier. It gives me friendship and fellowship and is an integral part of my life and the community that I live in.

Ladyleftfieldlover Wed 05-Oct-22 13:13:12

I went to church and Sunday school as a child with my mother and brother and sister. Dad never went. Once at Secondary School I stopped going, apart from weddings and baptisms. When I had my children I became interested again. One of my friends in the village was the vicar’s wife. Before I knew it I was on the PCC, then Secretary of the PCC. I helped run Sunday school and was very involved. Then, the vicar became seriously unwell and eventually moved away. I gave the new guy two or three years (have I said all this before?) but after quite a lot of angst I left that church. I won’t go into why we didn’t get on. It’s enough to say that I am a very liberal Christian. He isn’t. I can see the church tower from my landing window. It’s a five minute walk. Now I have to drive to my new church - or churches as they’re several in the benefice. If the ‘new’ vicar ever leaves, I think I would return.

B9exchange Wed 05-Oct-22 13:14:25

For those who struggle with the 'happy clappy' type of services, try going to a cathedral if you have one close enough, the service is traditional, the music is beautiful, and certainly ours is very welcoming with several types of services, also things like German Lutheran services during the week. There is a weekly foodbank collection, Traidcraft stall, and apart from the charities supported by congregational donations, we also support the local prison and refugee centre. I believe cathedral congregations are growing, as are lots of less traditional churches, some with huge congregations each week.

dogsmother Wed 05-Oct-22 13:23:50

Certainly believe in god and have faith, certainly do not believe in religion although brought up a Roman Catholic. So no longer attend any church service unless requested for wedding or funerals.

BigBertha1 Wed 05-Oct-22 14:14:20

Thank you Urmstongran thats where I am I think.

nanna8 Fri 07-Oct-22 08:40:04

Yes there is a world of difference between ‘faith’ and ‘religion’. Good point dogsmum.

missdeke Fri 07-Oct-22 11:36:23

As a child I went to church, as most of us did. The only time I go now is for weddings, funerals etc., as I don't have any faith in any religion, so I only go to show respect for other's beliefs. My own funeral has been arranged so there is now service involved.

I was utterly shocked the other day to read about a Saint's bones going on show in a church and the number of people going to see? worship? these bones, I can't believe anybody still believes in these medieval practices.

red1 Fri 07-Oct-22 11:58:31

i go to church once a week ,but just for a cuppa and a chat.The vicar is evangelical ,arrogant, who is always right ,need i say more! Some of the people are ok, but like so many places cliques abound,which i recently had a real tug of thoughts, emotions etc.I recently came to view of deism, i could not see how a loving god could allow such misery in the world, i find theology worth studying, a fault maybe in myself,probably born of a catholic upbringing, give me the child at 7 etc coupled with a tyrant parent! The c of e is dying,rc too in this country,its a vast subject of study too much to put in a paragraph, would i go back to rc? absolute no, the corruption. power abuses , child abuse etc etc.I feel lucky that i have broken free from the childhood brainwashing of rc, allelujah!

Chicklette Fri 07-Oct-22 11:59:54

Our (Baptist) church runs a food bank, has a parish nurse who gives free help to people in need, helps people in poverty, domestic abuse and modern slavery. We also hold gay weddings now. So I don’t believe that all churches do no good. True Christians want to live like Jesus did, helping those in need and loving people. That was the advice Jesus left us with: love one another as I have loved you. Quite simple really.

crazygranmda Fri 07-Oct-22 12:03:26

Urmstongran very well said. I used to have a strong belief but things happen and I discovered that life without a belief in god was so much easier. Totally agree with your philosophy.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 07-Oct-22 12:04:17

I went to Sunday school and church, even got confirmed but as an adult and mixing with others from different faiths I have come to the conclusion it is all fairy tales, just a good story. I am with Urms on this and I am humanist, I try to live my life. By just helping others when I can and treating people with respect and compassion, whoever they are. Mind you it’s a bit hard to do that with Liz Truss grin

crazygranmda Fri 07-Oct-22 12:06:40

Chicklette I agree with you. I actually volunteer at just such a church and it is heartwarming to see people practising what they preach.

Twopence Fri 07-Oct-22 12:11:22

I had been a regular churchgoer all my life until covid hit and services were suspended. In the meantime my DH was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and by the time the church reopened he was very anxious being left on his own and not being a regular churchgoer himself is reluctant to accompany me. I do so miss the church "family" and though I am in regular contact with people, by phone or email, I have just been there in person about three times in the past year and I miss it so much.

OnwardandUpward Fri 07-Oct-22 12:21:52

If you see people practising what they preach then you know they have integrity. The worst is when people say one thing and do another.

During covid the local church said there's no meetings "because of covid" but they meet secretly in a small room and think no one knows, even though the church is large and social distancing would have been easy. Then the C of E lost loads of money and a lot of clergy had their wages taken away from them this year.

So they maintain the friendship groups I mean cliques! I think this will further contribute to the collapse of the Anglican Church in those parishes and be quite obvious. There are good ones and bad ones, only time will tell on them. As with all churches, we need to look at the fruit and decide if we can align with that.

A lot of Baptist churches are very good and kind, in fact I have never been to one where I've had any kind of bad experience. In hard times faith is important, more important than denomination.

polnan Fri 07-Oct-22 12:23:05

I go to church, and our smallish church does a lot for others, Food Banks, Homeless, children etc.. that is our main purpose, well after worshipping