Cawn ddatgelu ffigyrau newydd brawychus sy'n dangos cwymp sylweddol yn nifer aelodau'r prif enwadau. Ydy Cristnogaeth mewn argyfwng yng Nghymru? Is the end nigh for Christianity...
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-# Let us go to his gracious throne
-# Let us raise... #
-According to a recent review...
-..over half the British
-population are atheists.
-Tonight, we ask if this
-is the beginning of the end...
-..for Christianity in Wales?
-The plain truth is
-this is the end of a chapter.
-When a chapter ends,
-some things stop for good.
-We reveal new statistics
-which highlight the fall...
-amongst the main denominations.
-The way we worship...
-..and gather together as Christians
-is coming to an end.
-As our chapels and churches empty...
-..we ask if Wales
-is losing its faith.
-It's not looking good for you
-Questions were raised in 1990
-that were raised in 1980.
-How do we face
-the statistical decline?
-You're failing right now.
-You're failing right now.
-I think we are.
-Capel y Graig, Machynlleth.
-..this has been home
-to the Independents in the town.
-Today, the Bible leaves the pulpit
-for the final time.
-Things have come to a head.
-We decided about two years ago
-that we had to close.
-Unfortunately, the only option
-for us was to close the chapel.
-Today is the final service,
-the dissolution service.
-I declare in their names...
-..that the covenant
-made by the founders...
-a congregational church...
-..has been annulled.
-No services have been held
-in the chapel since January 2016.
-Today, the service is being held
-in the vestry.
-I can remember the wonderful sounds
-from this chapel...
-..of the cymanfaoedd of yesteryear.
-It's a sad situation and a situation
-that's becoming more common.
-we come to thee in prayer...
-..as generations before us
-came to you.
-After more than
-two centuries of worship...
-..the doors of the chapel
-will close for the final time.
-As we come to share bread and wine
-can you help me share the bread?
-I will publically state...
-..that this service
-would have happened years ago...
-..without Mair's perseverance
-and hard work.
-There are no members
-attending the chapel.
-We have to pay for the upkeep
-of the chapel.
-That's the two main factors.
-There are no officers or trustees.
-it's become impossible to carry on.
-Do this in remembrance of me.
-It's a very sad day.
-That's the situation we face
-and it's impossible to carry on.
-Many other chapels and churches
-have closed down in recent years.
-I tried to measure
-the size of the decline.
-I asked for figures from the Church
-in Wales, the Catholic Church...
-..and some of Wales'
-main nonconformist denominations...
-Presbyterians and Baptists.
-I wanted to measure the strength
-of Christianity in Wales today.
-According to the figures
-..over 350 Welsh worship houses
-have closed over the past decade.
-In Talysarn, Nantlle Vale,
-six chapels and churches...
-..used to open their doors
-in a village of 2,000 people.
-I visited Talysarn
-and met former MP Betty Williams.
-She's sad to see
-five places of worship closed.
-Look at the state of Capel Mawr.
-There were a lot of worshippers
-in Capel Mawr and Capel Seion.
-Both are two-storey buildings.
-The Baptist chapel, Capel Salem...
-..that's also two-storey.
-Capel Moreia, the Wesleyan chapel,
-used to be here.
-It also had a chapel house.
-Betty Williams is a chapel elder
-It's the only chapel
-that remains open here.
-The village has changed.
-When I walk to chapel on Sunday,
-I might not see anyone.
-I used to see and greet
-the other people attending chapel.
-We all knew each other
-and took an interest in each other.
-The hustle and bustle of life
-has taken over.
-Seion Independent chapel
-has 16 members.
-are in the congregation today.
-We're not a large group
-but we are close.
-If there's something to do,
-we'll all help.
-It's a worry that we're not
-attracting younger members.
-That's my main worry.
-The chapel has no Sunday school
-The worshippers are determined
-We're the older generation
-but we are committed.
-What will happen when the older
-generation are no longer here?
-I can't answer that.
-That make us sad
-but it makes us want to battle on...
-..while we can.
-We can't do more than that.
-We're doing as much as we can.
-The headquarters of the Union
-of Welsh Independents is in Swansea.
-Two point six.
-The union is trying
-to make Christianity attractive...
-..in the modern age.
-This sound is being recorded
-for a new app.
-Being a hero means going on an
-adventure and discovering stories...
-..to share in Ancora.
-The Arwyr Ancora app is available
-for smartphones and tablets.
-It gives children an opportunity
-to play games...
-..and learn about Jesus.
-Choose your character below.
-Welcome to Ancora.
-I hope it grabs the imagination
-of our youngsters...
-..and I hope we can convince
-As a parent, I know how much
-children play these modern devices.
-This will introduce the story
-of Jesus in the most up-to-date way.
-Beti-Wyn James is the minister
-at Y Priordy chapel in Carmarthen.
-The chapel has taken steps
-The elders' pew has been removed
-and TV screens have been installed.
-Beti-Wyn James uses contemporary
-methods in her services.
-According to Beti-Wyn, the chapel
-is flourishing with 200 members...
-..but she doesn't want to place
-too much emphasis on numbers...
-the importance of chapels.
-We've begun to measure success
-in terms of numbers...
-..but it doesn't always ring true
-in this context.
-I have two other chapels
-with smaller congregations.
-I doubt I'll see a congregation
-as large as this in the other two...
-..but they are close communities
-and important in their localities.
-Over the past two years, four
-chapels in Carmarthen have closed.
-Beti-Wyn insists that
-Christianity has a role to play...
-..in people's lives.
-The chapels have been convenient
-places to worship...
-..but when chapels close, we must
-safeguard the chapel's society.
-Often, when chapels close,
-it's down to dwindling membership.
-Dwindling membership, yes.
-Even when there is good membership,
-the commitment isn't always there.
-It's important to safeguard
-the membership we have...
-..and ensure that they
-are eager to continue...
-..after the cause they were
-a part of has closed.
-After the service, Beti-Wyn James
-joined be in Carmarthen town centre.
-I wanted to know if people there
-used to attend a chapel or church.
-We're asking if you've attended
-a chapel or church today.
-No? Why haven't you been?
-What do you do on Sundays?
-What do you do on Sundays?
-You prefer shopping.
-Sometimes I attend church.
-Why don't you go every Sunday?
-I don't know, it's finding the time.
-You know how it is, busy life.
-She's asked to go, haven't you?
-Many of her friends want to go.
-She'll go with friends.
-No, I haven't been, sorry.
-Did you used to go?
-When I was younger, her age.
-I don't go anymore.
-Why did you stop going?
-Was there a reason?
-It didn't do anything for me.
-In Carmarthen on a Sunday morning...
-..shopping and sport was the
-religion of those who spoke to us.
-I wouldn't be happy if someone felt
-they couldn't attend if they wanted.
-We can't force them.
-Our aim is to ensure
-that the Church is a community...
-..with its doors flung open...
-..and a community where everyone,
-whatever their background...
-..whatever their ability,
-can be part of it.
-People know there's a community
-and a welcome in the Church...
-..but there's nothing there
-that interests them.
-Does that concern you?
-It's a challenge for us.
-It's a challenge for us
-to present the gospel...
-..in a more interesting way...
-..but however interestingly
-you present the gospel...
-..it's still a difficult challenge.
-It's the same as trying to get me
-to watch a football match.
-I have no interest in it
-and I won't go.
-In Part 2, we reveal worrying new
-statistics highlighting a decline...
-..in the membership
-of Christian denominations in Wales.
-I ask the leaders
-of the denominations...
-..if they're doing enough
-to keep the flame burning brightly.
-Is it not a failure on your part,
-and other denominations...
-..that you haven't been able
-to sustain the congregations...
-..and attract people
-through the doors?
-It's not our role
-to sustain past traditions.
-Our task is to make the
-Christian faith relevant today.
-It's Sunday morning.
-Dafydd Iwan is on his way to preach.
-He supports merging
-..after seeing chapels closing
-and congregations dwindling.
-I don't do a head count.
-If I did, my heart would have
-been broken a long time ago.
-..because, often, I travel far
-to preach to a congregation of six.
-At other times,
-that six can turn into 25.
-Everyone can see
-the decline happening.
-He's worried that very few people
-have responded to the decline...
-..or the closure
-of churches and chapels.
-Numbers are dwindling, the age
-of the congregation is increasing...
-..and you have to ask the question.
-What will be here
-in ten years' time?
-How much of a decline has there been
-over the past few years?
-I checked the most
-recent membership figures...
-..for the Church in Wales,
-the Catholic Church...
-..and the nonconformist
-Each one had lost at least
-half their members since 1990.
-Statistics show that only
-4% of the Welsh population...
-..are members of a church
-or the main denominations.
-I asked Dafydd Iwan
-for his response to our research.
-What do you make of the statistics
-in these documents?
-very frightful to be honest.
-Then again, it's not a surprise.
-This is the picture I see regularly
-when I preach on Sundays.
-One interesting thing
-I can see in these figures...
-..is the belief that chapels
-were suffering more than churches.
-According to the figures...
-..the decline has affected
-everyone the same.
-There's been a dramatic decline
-across the spectrum...
-..for all the denominations
-and all the churches.
-Bangor Cathedral attracts 200 people
-on a normal Sunday.
-Even though it attracts
-a healthy congregation...
-..the Church has lost ground.
-over 100 Welsh churches have closed.
-Almost another 100
-are not being used.
-Bishop Andy John says
-the Church in Wales...
-..needs to be more relevant.
-If I regret anything...
-..I regret this.
-We should have had the discussion
-we're having today 20 years ago.
-It's our fault,
-the people leading the Church.
-We could all see the statistics...
-..but we might not have been
-The Church in Wales
-manages to attract more people...
-..than any of
-the nonconformist denominations.
-Latest figures show 45,759 members
-on their electoral list.
-There were almost 100,000
-back in 1990.
-As part of their 2020 Vision plan...
-..the Church published this report
-According to the report,
-the Church had to act quickly...
-..to continue to influence
-Welsh public life.
-The Bishop of Bangor
-is one of those responsible...
-Do you think the plan has worked?
-On the whole, yes.
-There are simple things
-in the report...
-..but the more substantial aspects
-are challenging the Church.
-We need to modernise
-the way we work.
-We're changing slowly
-but we must move forward...
-..and ensure we don't go back
-to our old ways.
-You said in 2012 that you were
-giving yourselves three years.
-During that three-year period,
-you lost an extra 10,000 members.
-It suggests that the plan
-hasn't been a success.
-I think the declining membership
-will level out.
-I don't think the Church is in
-crisis but there is a challenge...
-..to ensure we can sustain
-whatever we start.
-That's one of the greatest
-challenges for the Church.
-We don't want to start things
-just to see them fail.
-We must ensure we can continue.
-The Baptists face
-the same challenge.
-In 1990, they had 28,713 members.
-They have 10,231 members this year.
-It's a fall of almost two-thirds.
-That's a really good idea, isn't it?
-Wouldn't it be nice
-to put flowers on Jesus's grave?
-Judith Morris is the general
-secretary of the Baptists Union.
-She invited me to a summer school
-in Salem, Tonteg, near Pontypridd.
-190 of the denomination's chapels
-have closed since the early-'90s.
-According to Judith Morris, some,
-like this one, are flourishing.
-To be honest, I'm sure more chapels
-will have to close their doors...
-..but our role
-is to try and help those chapels...
-..to keep the faith alive.
-Isn't your role attracting
-new members through the doors...
-..to keep the chapels open?
-The union's work is to support
-and encourage our chapels.
-That hasn't been happening.
-Membership is dwindling -
-have you done your work properly?
-These are different times.
-We live in the shadow of the past...
-were in their hundreds.
-Our situation has changed.
-Some denominations have felt
-that change more than others.
-The denomination that's seen the
-greatest decline in membership...
-..since 1990 is the Presbyterians.
-they had 61,616 members in Wales.
-Today, that number has fallen
-to 19,818, a fall of 68%.
-You have around 20,000 members
-You've witnessed a major decline
-over the past 25 years.
-What does the future hold for
-your denomination in 15 years' time?
-..it's a crisis now, in a way...
-..that people living two generations
-ago would never have imagined.
-Of course, in our generation,
-it's a crisis that's far too common.
-Moving forward, I think
-the Welsh Presbyterian Church...
-..will have to take
-a long look at how we operate...
-..what are our expectations,
-what we think we can do...
-..and what we'll have to surrender.
-we need to target certain areas...
-..and accept that in some areas,
-others are being more successful.
-At the turn of the century...
-..there were moves to merge
-the nonconformist denominations.
-Those moves were unsuccessful.
-Some encourage cooperation but
-the denominations remain apart...
-..and continue to weaken.
-have dislodged the Presbyterians...
-..as Wales' most popular
-According to the Independents Union,
-they have 22,290 members.
-That's a fall of 57%
-since the early-'90s..
-Isn't it a failure on your part and
-other Christian leaders in Wales...
-..that you've not been able
-to retain your congregations...
-..or attract new members?
-No, our role isn't to sustain
-the tradition of the past.
-Our task is to make
-the Christian faith relevant today.
-Are you failing in that respect with
-less people attending your services?
-You're seeing the end of the old era
-and the beginning of a new era.
-We have a foot in each camp.
-Back in Machynlleth, the old era
-is over for Capel Y Graig.
-With sorrow and sadness...
-..we cannot continue to say,
-with Dafydd Iwan...
-..that Capel y Graig is still here.
-Since its formation,
-14 ministers have served the chapel.
-The final service is an
-emotional one for the 14th minister.
-As it happens,
-there have been 14 ministers...
-..since seventeen eighty-something.
-I'm the last of the 14.
-That adds a little...
-..to the sadness.
-Someone said that though the chapels
-were made of stone and mortar...
-..this is where people were raised.
-As she closes the door
-for the final time...
-..Mairlynne Davies is worried
-that her town and generation...
-..is losing its Christian faith.
-There's a lot of apathy
-and we can't attract the youngsters.
-The future doesn't look bright...
-..unless we can attract
-the children and youngsters.
-S4C Subtitles by Adnod Cyf.
Cawn ddatgelu ffigyrau newydd brawychus sy'n dangos cwymp sylweddol yn nifer aelodau'r prif enwadau. Ydy Cristnogaeth mewn argyfwng yng Nghymru? Is the end nigh for Christianity in Wales?