We lived in Japan from 2001 to 2013. In Yokohama, Japan's second largest city with three and a half million inhabitants there are a number of churches. Around Yamate could be found baptists, roman catholics, united methodists and anglicans. There were others, but these were the ones with English speaking services. I never visited the baptists, but the others had a small community feel but with fast changing populations as people came and went from Japan, which turned out to be quite healthy, as it seems to cause people to be accepting of different ways of doing things.
Thirteen years later we come to Settle. Wikipedia says, "the town has a population of 2,421 according to the 2001 Census" Next door is Giggleswick, a village with a population of 1410 (also according to wikipedia). There are also surrounding villages and settlement which must add more hundreds. And the churches? Looking at the "churches together in Settle and District" website, I count six denominations. Six! I thought the church going population of the UK was, similar to Japan, supposed to be about 2%. Either I'm wrong or the churches are mostly empty. Since last August I've been going to the Anglican churches in Settle and Giggleswick, and they do seem sparsely attended. I'm tempted to suggest that it would be better all round if all the buildings closed, get given to the church preservation trust, or sold off as private houses, and everyone meets together upstairs at Ye Olde Naked Man cafe for an hour each week.
Six denominations in Settle and six weeks in Lent (apart from Easter Sunday). It's time for a Lenten Project!
|Roman Catholic||St Mary & St Michael||11:15am|
|Anglican||Holy Ascension; St Alkelda||8am,9:30am,11am,5pm ?|
|Independent Congregational||Zion Congregational Church||3rd Sunday (so, 15 March 2015) 10:45am|
|Pentecostal||Settle Christian Fellowship||10:45am|
|Quaker||Friends Meeting House||10:30am|
After announcing my intention to visit them all, and having seen the somewhat rubbish film "Julie & Julia" on the aeroplane back from our recent visit to Japan, husband James insists that this project be blogged.