Social Change

Lots of reporting of the Registrar General for Scotland today.  He says that, ‘The proportion of births to unmarried parents (including births registered solely in the mother’s name) has continued to rise, reaching 47.1 per cent in 2005 compared to 33.7 per cent ten years earlier and 18.5 per cent in 1985.’  It wouldn’t be quite fair to say that this is another sign of how secular a society Scotland is.  But the conventional organisation of churches assumes a society which has now almost vanished – in favour of very flexible and mobile ways of living and a high level of personal choice in how relationships are organised.  I don’t particularly regret that change.  But it represents a real challenge for churches which, in their heart of hearts, would like to believe that a stable parish system was still possible.