Rise in new city churches bucks secular trend


A five-metre white cross hangs on the front of the wooden frame that will soon become a new Roman Catholic church in Lower Mainland B.C.

The church's congregation is eagerly anticipating its first home of its own, after having met in a school for nearly 20 years.

“There’s obviously a lot of excitement. We’ve been raising money for 10, 15 years,” said Paul Schratz, communications director for the Archdiocese of Vancouver and a member of the parish.

The St. James Parish in Abbotsford hopes to celebrate its first major holiday this Easter in its new building. It’s one of four parishes under the Archdiocese of Vancouver that is building a church from scratch or expanding.

“We have a lot of good news in this archdiocese,” says Schratz.

So, too, does the Archdiocese of Toronto, which covers a 13,000-square-kilometre area of southern Ontario stretching from Lake Ontario to Georgian Bay. On average, it’s built one church a year over the past decade.

An upsurge in new churches in Canada’s urban centres is heralded by some as a sign that religion is far from dead, a fear often cited with the rise of secularism throughout the western world.

But others aren’t convinced — and recent figures from around the world, including Canada, suggest that the number of people who don’t identify with a religion has risen to unprecedented levels and shows no sign of abating.

Written By: Amber Hildebrandt
continue to source article at cbc.ca


  1. Desperation (Hope springs Eternal?) but truth is, all religions are in terminal decline, but one.

    The Religion of Peace/ Lies/ Fear/ Permanent Offence… Pick your own favourite!

  2. I do worry about some of the reasons given for no longer attending church, or affiliating yourself to a particular version of Christianity and this isn’t the first article I’ve seen this sort of thing written in – “Many of them talk about feeling free from the religious structures, the religious rules, the things that kind of tie you down,”

    It seems like they might return to a religious affiliation, if it became less structured. I rarely see, “Well I looked at religious teachings, critically and decided that they are just nonsense”. There doesn’t seem to be much lack of belief, just lack of affiliation

  3. So the same pattern as the UK; City based catholic churches see a rise due to immigration from eastern Europe or the far east. This reversed in the UK when the economy nose-dived and the immigrants went back home.
    So no growth amongst the indigenous population.

  4. In Toronto mosques are on the march, taking over failed restaurants, pubs and even a dud strip club.
    Allahu Ak-Bar?

  5. As to catholic church construction…….if you can’t fill the pews you can still make money on bingo and even more lucrative for profic activities protected by your religious exemptions.

  6. I loathe the sight of new church buildings going up.Monuments to nonsense and uselessness.Raising money for 10 to 15 years,he says.When I think of all the good that money could have done! After all religions are about doing good,aren’t they. The founder of Christianity did not sashay around in an obscenely opulent building arrayed in a brightly coloured robe, and sporting fancy footware which in certain cases might be red.

    Where I live, people might not have money for a child’s schooling but they contribute towards building one monstrosity after another.And these buildings stand empty for the most part.Our planet is littered with these edifices to the Imaginary .

  7. In reply to #5 by Miserablegit:

    Sadly these monstrosities are blighting Britain as well.

    On the other-hand the move to secularism is having its effect in many places.


    Around twenty Church of England church buildings are closed for worship each year. The list shown below gives information about buildings that are available for disposal and are being marketed for a suitable alternative use. Some of these are already under offer, but it may be worth registering an interest with the Diocese or Agent concerned in the event that the current proposed use does not proceed.

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