I expected you to mention the horrendous cost of maintaining some of those buildings (as that’s a big factor here, where the two churches I attend most frequently both date in significant part from the 11th century), but yes, I agree. OK, those I attend have the altar as the focus point – but it’s far up in the east end, with the privileged few (the choir) occupying the space closest to it. But they have elevated pulpits – as have most churches I’ve ever attended here. The vicar at my local parish church almost never uses that, preferring to speak from ground level – but he’s still at the front, addressing an audience. OK, they also do one service a month in a “cafe” style in the church hall, which is much less formal…

I’d really like to see a system where, either as part of the service or immediately after it, people discussed the content of the sermon. I might even live to see that happen!