In recent decades Anglicans have developed a largely unquestioned and unchallenged narrative of global growth and decline. This narrative tells a story of Anglicanism’s success being largely due to growth in developing, postcolonial nations which, according to the narrators, is ongoing and unstoppable. At the same time, first-world, mostly postmodern nations have seen a steep decline in church membership and attendance. Numeric growth and strength have been used to define ecclesial identity and to legitimate understandings of ‘Anglican orthodoxy’. This article offers an up-to-date reappraisal of Anglican Communion membership and, in that process, challenges many of the premises of such a narrative.
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