From the Large City Temples to the Local Community Shrines, Roman Catholicism could learn a lot from how Buddhism and Shinto have made themselves accessible to the public.
As a lapsed Catholic, visiting Japan has helped to clarify why my formal religious beliefs have waned over the years. The first thing that any visitor will notice when landing in Tokyo is that religious belief is absolutely ingrained in every element of life and access to a shrine is possibly easier than finding a newsagents. As far as I could see, each local community has there own small shrine, with major shrines and temples speckled around the city. These shrines are so accessible that stopping off and asking for a nice life each day seems like no effort at all. In our time here, we have seen many shrines and temples and each one has had visitors. The small ones have a steady flow throughout the day, the larger are focal points for coach parties and they are busy at all times.
Good fortune is married to a life long dedication to good behaviour, cementing the public's need to have hope in their futures with their responsibility towards family, fellow man and the world around them.
In the UK we used to be able to visit a church whenever we needed peaceful reflection, spiritual guidance or forgivness from sin ... Today, you are more likely to be confronted by a lock church door and a sign showing the regular weekly formal worship times. What we need is a shrine on each church grounds, open all of the time and available to us whenever we need to remember our place in the scheme of things and the supporting strength that the Roman Catholic church provides.
Roman Catholicism has all of the ritual, the strength of belief and massive support structure of Buddhism and Shinto, it simply lacks common accessibility for its flock.
Sadly, at the moment, I feel that I'm only welcome to a UK church if I have a tenner in my pocket.