The Church of England tried to put a brave face on it but the Anglican church attendance figures for 2011 published this week pose a serious challenge for any church defending its position as the national, established, top religious organisation.
Whatever else one might think of Grayling's views, his skills as a writer are incontestable. The sheer clarity of his jargon-free prose makes The God Argument a pleasure to read.
Atheists have accused the Church of England of "spinning" the results of research that claimed ‘four out of five believe
What would happen if the different faiths began automatically adding 'humanism' to their names, Islamic humanism, Buddhist, Judaic, Hindu, Christian humanism, for example - then explored what each meant. We'd probably end up with a rich dialogue based on a celebration of two great realities: our shared humanity and the richness of our different religious traditions.
In a bow to secularism, the Girl Guides could drop all mentions of God and the Queen in their oath. The voluntary organisation
Atheism is a dirty word. But not as dirty, apparently, as humanism.
Turning entirely normal people into mindless, zombie-esque happy creatures, the mystical Christmas spirit annually forces its way into our homes and hearts and helps us through the gloomy winter months. And then disaster strikes
We know from research done since the last census that most people who tick 'Christian' do so for cultural or ethnic reasons rather than religious ones and only 48% of those who tick 'Christian' believe that Jesus Christ was real person who was the son of god and rose from the dead.
Andrew Brown, in a Guardian blog last week, criticised the British Humanist Association (BHA) for promoting humanism as an essentially negative approach to life defined by what it isn't and for being on an incoherent and self-defeating mission to eliminate all social bonds, based on an outmoded view of religion.
His own determined advocacy, the effective use of the media to promote his cause, and the ongoing eloquent, ethical and dignified support of his wife and daughters have guaranteed that Tony Nicklinson's death has not been the end of the public debate he reignited.