Church Project Theorem: The Closer
The Closer refers to, quite simply, the closing of a parish and the wholesale unloading of its assets.
What causes closures? Declining attendance, mostly. There's a reason I harp on attendance numbers. When the population falls, the parish struggles financially to pay its bills and keep a roof over its head, and when it does it's suddenly on a very short leash. The Archdiocese offers financial support to poorer Roman Catholic parishes, but only so much and for so long.
Closings can happen singly or in bunches. And once closed, a parish has one of four possible fates.
First, it gets consolidated with other neighboring, failed parishes. In those cases, it might get a name change, but at least the building stays in use.
In the second case, it closes and sits idle until the end of time, rotting away as a broken, crumbling corpse. (i.e., The Long Goodbye)
In the third case, the building gets sold to another group, usually religious, who use it for their own Godly purposes. (i.e., Caveat Emptor)
Finally, it gets wiped off the face of the earth. (i.e., The End)