‘I lost my wife to Alzheimer’s then lost my faith': Caller, 80, says as Christianity becomes minority faith

29 November 2022, 17:38

Caller lost faith after wife had Alzheimer's

Melissa Fleur Afshar

By Melissa Fleur Afshar

This caller tells Shelagh Fogarty that seeing his Christian wife suffer after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease destroyed all the faith he had in God.

As the recent Census report reveals Christianity demoted to 'minority religion' status in England and Wales for the first time, people have grown curious as to why the two notoriously Christian nations have become markedly less Christian and less religious.

While the number of people identifying as Christian in England and Wales has fallen, the amount of people checking off the 'no religion' box on the Census has risen.

This 80-year-old caller opened up to Shelagh Fogarty about the heartbreaking reason why he left the church.

"I had a strong faith, I sang in a church choir for 27 years, I spoke into sessions from the lecterns and I wrote poetry to share with the congregation," the caller, named Brian, began.

READ MORE: 'Go to Church then!': James O'Brien predicts anger towards Christianity dropping to 'minority religion'

"Then my wife, the woman I loved more than life itself went down with Alzheimer's and each day I watched her suffer, it was an awful slow loss of all of life's enjoyment for 9 years until she finally lost her battle in 2019," he added.

Brian continued, saying that after he saw his wife fall into serious ill health, he "realised that we are all just tiny specs of cosmic dust on a floating rock in the middle of nowhere".

"Now I have no faith," said Brian.

"There is nothing that can convince me to look to what I used to do in the church again, it just isn't possible, having lost the only woman I ever loved".

Sympathetic to his loss, but curious as to why he hadn't abandoned his faith years ago after undoubtedly seeing 80 years of suffering in the world, Shelagh Fogarty questioned Brian as to why his wife's death was his turning point.

"Of course [seeing suffering] made me question my faith many times," said Brian.

"I looked at the fact that I was sitting in choir worshipping God and thanking him, and I thought to myself, why am I doing this when I look at my wife who was suffering badly, she even taught Sunday school!"

Shelagh Fogarty went on to respond that to her, it appears that the "challenge of Christianity is the suffering".

"We're asked to believe that God does understand suffering and came and experienced the worst kind himself," said Shelagh Fogarty.

"Well, I saw through the veil, I was absolutely fooled," said Brian.

READ MORE: Christians have become a minority in England and Wales for the first time, official data shows