The Church of England made a significant error in not only attempting to retain those that there were abandoning its services, but to reach out still further to those already outside the church and losing interest altogether in the consolations of religion. Outreach proved to be over-reach, and counterproductive in that it accelerated the decline in its existing support without attracting many if any of the target audience. The Conservative party made similar errors when faced with similar problems.

The reasons for this failure are: a) Those who believe themselves to be in no need of mystical support are unlikely to turn to you if your Church cheerfully agrees, but offers nothing else of interest; and b) you persuade no one to remain a member of a Church by reflecting the irresolution and uncertainty of members already heading for the door; and c) those looking for firm assurance in their uncertainty are hardly to be persuaded by a body that confesses that it is as weak as any.

It is only by offering consistent principles and stable traditions of incrementally developing thought (as the sciences in fact do) that institutions can survive. Big leaps are nearly always a mistake. The Church would have done well to stick to its guns and advertise the fact very loudly, while gradually moving on to another footing. The Conservative Party too perhaps. But this is not without its problems, so dense is the non-extensional network of propositions in both Anglican and Conservative thought, that even small changes can cause cascade failures. Shinto was very lucky in having no texts.