One of the striking features of Worcester is the lack of vibrant historic Christianity. Worcester is a hub for the least churched region of our country and Massachusetts ranks among the highest for those who claim no religious affiliation. Of those in Worcester who are religiously affiliated seventy two percent are Roman Catholics with the majority of these nominal. Evangelical Christians account for 4.5% of the population in the county with a lower percentage in the city. While there has been marked growth in ethnic churches in Worcester, the overarching trend is towards stagnation and isolation.
This lack of dynamic Christian faith expresses itself in an incredible drive to achieve, a deep loneliness, emotional and relational breakdown, poverty and discrimination. As a city there is the sense that Worcester both envies and looks down on Boston for its disproportionate influence in the state and region. In addition to the many of barriers most New Englanders carry towards the Christian faith, people in Worcester are particularly disillusioned due to the abuse and corruption seen within the Catholic Church.
“How, I ask myself these days, when I really do need a God to lean on, when I am swimming in the deep end of mid-life and could use a life guard, how did I lose my religion? The Old Country Catholicism that made me feel so safe as a child and young girl?”
-from “Pink Easter Gloves” In City Times Worcester