General Article Can the Church of England attract young people again?

Topic Selected: Religion
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Andrew Grey argues the Church of England should ignore gimmicks and attract the youth with its authentic message.

The Church of England needs more young people. This drum has been banged on repeat for years: ‘it needs to be more relevant’; ‘young people are put off the church’ – the Archbishop of York even issued a prophetic-sounding warning in 2013 that the church is ‘one generation away from extinction’.

Enter Rob Popejoy: Chaplain at the City of Bath College. He’s something of a hipster: he sports a beard at the age of 30, wears beanie hats and owns a skateboard. He is also heavily tattooed, and has interests in snowboarding, football and hip-hop.

Surely this man is the answer to all our prayers? When young people see the church as stuffy and outdated, this man can bring a breath of fresh air. He embraces his students’ interests with vigour, even getting involved in one student’s project by being p

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