by Steven Swinford, Telegraph
The Church of England should consider opening its doors to congregations from other faiths including Muslims and Hindus, the head of the Countryside Alliance has said.
Sir Barney White-Spunner said he was concerned that churches in villages and towns were falling into disrepair and not being used enough.
He said he was “hugely excited” about opening up churches to other Christian denominations and, in the longer term, other faiths.
He also proposes making churches into community centres which host local markets, nurseries and even police contact points.
Sir Barney, a Roman Catholic, said: “Personally I think it would be hugely exciting, it would restore life and vigour to these incredibly important buildings.
“The poor old Church of England is faced with an enormous bill to maintain these wonderful structures. I happen to be a Roman Catholic.
“I would love to see Church of England, Catholic and other Christian denominations sharing. If you look in an English village or a small English town the church tends to be the dominant building.
“I happen to be Roman Catholic, and quite a lot of our churches are rather unattractive, some not inaccurately described as post-war Nissan huts. The future is in sharing.”
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