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Sutton at risk of becoming 'morally bankrupt', says Carshalton pastor


SUTTON faces becoming "morally bankrupt", borough church leaders have warned, due to a sharp decline in the number of Christians and an apparent upsurge of atheists.

Data from the 2011 Census shows 58 per cent of people – 110,285 of Sutton's 190,146 population – now consider themselves Christian, compared with 70.5 per cent in 2001.

Despite still being the largest faith group, the drop makes Christianity the fastest declining religion.

Meanwhile, a quarter of all people have suggested they could be atheists by declaring themselves to be of "No Religion".

The fastest growing religion is Hinduism, which rose from 2.1 per cent in 2001 to 4 per cent in 2011, followed by Islam, which increased from 2.3 to 4 per cent.

Sina Adesanya, pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Carshalton, said: "Society is going to go bankrupt at the rate we are going, especially in morality. It's going down faster than I ever thought.

"It is very disappointing and it's very worrying.

"People are left alone to do things the way they want to and the doctrines of God are not being passed down from generation to generation any more."

Martin Camroux, vicar of Trinity Church in Cheam Road, added: "It is a reflection of a society that has been secularising for the last 50 years."

Further cultural shifts mean white Britons now make up less than three quarters of the borough's population.

A total of 70.9 per cent – 134,813 – are white Britons compared with 83.7 per cent in 2001.

Eighteen ethnic categories now comprise Sutton's population, which grew from 181,500 in 2001 to 190,146 in 2011. "Other White", which can include South African or Polish people, is the second largest racial grouping with Indians the third largest at 3.4 per cent.

The figures for Sutton released to the Advertiser also show the largest age bracket is 15 to 64-year-olds, which make up 67 per cent – 127,397.

The average age is now 38, as opposed to 36 ten years previously, while woman outnumber men with 94.6 men to every 100 women.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Southwark, which oversees churches in Sutton, said the fall in Christianity "is disappointing to see".

Full censuses measuring shifts in populations in each local authority jurisdiction across the UK have been taken every ten years since 1801.

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