Beliefnet News

The Rev. Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Lichfield, told a group of clergy in a speech in his London diocese this week that church services have become too long, recommending “clergy should aim to keep the time of worship to no more than 50 minutes.”

The bishop continued to say that worship has become “too complicated, leaving people who are not regular churchgoers feeling confused and excluded.”

“One of the reasons for our recent decline in churchgoing is we are not making the occasional worshipper feel welcome,” he said.

“You have got to be quite tough to come to some of our services if you are not a regular attender. We’re praying for longer and we’re singing for longer.”

Most religious leaders say Sunday morning church services already have to compete with shopping, lying in bed, or taking the day off, and the idea of spending two hours dedicated to worship is not very appealing in today’s society.

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