Ribble Valley: Mainly Christian?

The Ribble Valley, the local authority district in which Salem Chapel is situated, has one of the highest proportions of population claiming to be Christian. In the 2021 Census, 66.4% of people in Ribble Valley described themselves as Christian (down from 78.1%), while 5.3% did not state their religion (down from 6.0% the decade before). The national picture is lower, where 46.2 per cent of people now identify as Christian, down from 59.3 per cent in 2011. Only Knowsley on Merseyside has a slightly higher 'Christian population' than Ribble Valley.

I would suggest that the majority of folk claiming to be Christian seldom darken church doors, much less enjoy a living relationship with God through the Lord Jesus. I call it ‘fogey’ Christianity: older, politically right-wing people who have a fondness for tradition, of which Christianity is an important part. Blackburn and Burnley have seen large increases in their ‘atheist communities’ as well as those adhering to Islam, naturally. The Bible teaches that any religious belief system, or lack thereof, that does not bring one to Christ’s cross in repentance, will keep us separated from God. Fogeyish Christianity, with its love of church fetes, bicycling vicars in Panama hats and the lusty singing of Jerusalem is no better. Ribble Valley might have lots of people who have a fondness for faith, but that does not translate into acceptance of, and love for, Christ Jesus, sin's forgiveness nor in life everlasting.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20, New King James Version