Hawes Congregational: Who do some Chapels Close and Others Remain?
As Britain has become increasingly secular and godless, the churches have emptied. Sunday, the day of rest and worship, is just another leisure day. Brits are simply not interested in their lives beyond the grave.
Villages have become populated by wealthy commuters and pensioners. The honest working folk who made up the congregations were priced out. Others were forced to the towns as farms mechanised and the need for labour fell. Of course this doesn't entirely explain the decline, but it does explain why villages are far less populated now than they were.
They failed to reach out to the young. Content with just older folk, there was none to replace them when God called them home.
Many chapels became distracted. They focussed on all sorts of worthy things like organ funds and flower shows, but seldom the Cross of Christ and the forgiveness of sins. Churches became mere social hubs instead of places where people could meet God.