This lecture explores various themes and places churches in the contexts of what is evidently an accelerating secularization of British society. Why were churches once so popular and widely used - and why have these things altered so profoundly? Are we able to identify patterns of closure across the churches - and, if so, how might we interpret them? And where might the present patterns be taking us all?
Andrew Chandler is Professor of Modern History at the University of Chichester. He was for some years the Director of the George Bell Institute, first at the Queen's Foundation for Ecumenical Education in Birmingham and then at the University of Chichester. He has published widely in the field of twentieth-century religious history, often focusing on the British churches and their experience of international politics. His substantial study, The Church of England in the Twentieth Century: The Church Commissioners and the Politics of Reform, 1948-1998 was first published in 2006. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.