Gentrified Religion

One of the “Six Stories About Religion” is the idea that religion is becoming increasingly and militantly conservative. One of the cultural trends of this is the reaction to modernity. In the article, “Would Jesus be a gentrifier? How Christianity is embracing urban renewal”, published in The Guardian, Joel Duddell, describes an emerging urban community called, Stokes Croft. Stokes Croft began as a group of abandoned Victorian buildings and over the course of a two decades, has eventually developed into an urban community with artisan coffee shops, craft ale pubs ,and is adorned with local art. Although the building is not obvious to tourists or visitors, Stokes Croft, like most communities, also has it’s own church. At the LoveBristol church, members, “pursue idiosyncratic beliefs within a loose structure – a belief in prophecy, speaking in tongues, and the power of the Holy Spirit in instigating modern-day miracles.” (Duddell). Although studies have shown that religious attendance and beliefs have been decreasing since the 1930s, evangelical, charismatic, Pentecostal and other “new churches” have almost doubled in size while Anglican, Catholic, and  Presbyterian churches continue to shrink. While it is not very common now, churches like LoveBristol could gradually become more appealing to newer communities as they begin growing.