RIVERINA churches recently up for sale have sparked discussions among the region's religious leaders about faith affiliations and congregation trends in townships.
In July, the Presbyterian Church in Yerong Creek was put up for sale after attempts to revive dwindling attendance numbers failed.
Reverend Craig Nicholas notified community members of the news and said the decision was also because the church was unsafe for use after being severely damaged by termites.
"The general decline in society's attitudes towards religion has contributed to that [decline in attendances]," Reverend Nicholas said.
"Fewer people are interested in God and we see that there's a drop off in affiliations with religions and more with atheism or no religion."
Reverend Nicholas said that since he began in 2015, the church has had a history of closing and reopening because of declining congregation, resulting in the church unable to sustain itself.
"It's painful - we pay rates and electricity and we don't have income from congregations to sustain the building," he said.
For now, the Yerong Creek Progress Association is determining whether the community could buy the property.
The reverend also cited the town's location and its stagnate population growth as reasons for the decline.
His thoughts about reasons align with census data, which shows that Wagga was slowly moving away from the church.
Census data for the region shows that in 2011 to 2016, nearly 2100 Anglicans left the faith while the Uniting, Presbyterian and Catholic churches all experienced declines of between 456 and 654 people.
In comparison, attendance numbers at St Aidan's Presbyterian Church in Turvey Park have grown steadily, according to Reverend Jon Blyth.
He said that despite increasing negative perception of the church, a critical factor to growth is location.
"In a place like Wagga, it's a growing city and we've seen people put their faith in Jesus for the first time," Reverend Blyth said.
"We've seen families move from other places and find their church home at St Aidan's."
Meanwhile, St Margaret's Uniting Church in Collingullie was purchased by a south-coast man after it was on sale for for $208,000 in April.
New owner Robert Allison, 55, said he had always liked churches and plans to turn the building into a residence.
"It's a rundown building with a few structural issues that need repairing," he said.
"It'd still be a church on the outside but a residence on the inside - that way, it'll still stay there."
Asked about his thoughts on the congregation trends, Mr Allison said there is a "general downward trend across the board".
Reverend Nola Cox at Lockhart Anglican was ordained as priest in 2009 and said that of her 18 years there, she has seen fluctuations in congregation numbers.
"Culture itself has changed and people have different priorities now," she said.
"Sporting events in this town takes precedent, but there are always the few faithfuls who come to worship first before they go to events."
Today, the St Peter's Anglican Church at The Rock celebrates its centenary.
Parish councillor Margaret Vennell said that while it was a milestone, they have also seen a decline in numbers.
"The parish group now has very few of us. It used be 18 to 20, but now it's just about five," Ms Vennell said.
"Few people follow the church now because we're all busy working and put other things, like sport, first."