The Church of England sent a mischievous tweet this week sending prayers for Richard Dawkins after his stroke and i am sure they it was a genuine tweet offering prayer for a public person who was unwell, but i bet they enjoyed sending it.
The Church of England does need to get its kicks somehow because it is struggling to attract new worshippers and are predicting that its decline in numbers was likely to continue for the next 30 years.
Such is the difficulties the CoE has launched a programme to modernise the church and increasing by 50% the number of priests being trained, to 600 recruits a year. It also involves shifting funds away from struggling rural parishes with small and elderly congregations to urban churches which are seen as having potential for growth.
The average Church Sunday attendance is 760,000, a drop of 12% in the past decade and the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: 'The culture is becoming anti-Christian' and that it was 'easy to paint a very gloomy picture'
Another idea is to develop 'network churches' that meet in cafes, pubs and other places outside of consecrated buildings.
With less than 1% of the country buying into the whole Church of England thing, i do wonder how much longer it can argue that it is still relevant in the UK and just face the facts that religion is no longer relevant in the 21st Century and pack up is bags and shut the big doors for the last time.
If nothing else it would cheer up Richard Dawkins no end.