Thinking Anglicans

Scottish religious census results

Release 2A from the 2011 Census results for Scotland includes data on Religion. The Census press release on this contains the following:

Religion

  • Over half (54 per cent) of the population of Scotland stated their religion as Christian – a decrease of 11 percentage points since 2001- whilst 37 per cent of people stated that they had no religion – an increase of nine percentage points since 2001.
  • In terms of the Christian denominations, 32 per cent of the population (1.7 million) stated they belonged to the Church of Scotland – a decrease of 10 percentage points since 2001 – whilst the proportion of people who stated they were Roman Catholic remained the same as in 2001 at 16 per cent (0.8 million).
  • Over one per cent (1.4 per cent or 77,000 people) reported that they were Muslim – an increase of 0.6 percentage points since 2001.
  • The numbers of Buddhists, Hindus and Sikhs together accounted for 0.7 per cent of the population in 2011 and all saw increases between 2001 and 2011.
  • The number of Jewish people has declined slightly to just under 6,000.

BRIN has a very much more detailed discussion at Scottish Religious Census, 2011.

One of the surprising things is that many people in Scotland identify themselves as Church of England or Anglican, rather than as Episcopalian, or belonging to the Scottish Episcopal Church. The figures contained in this table are (updated Monday morning):

Church of England 66,717
Episcopalian 21,289
Anglican 4.490
Scottish Episcopal Church 8,048
Church of Ireland 2,020
Church in Wales 453

BRIN includes links to responses made by many denominational leaders. The Primus of the SEC made this statement.

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anne rennieRichard CouttsJohn BunyanBrian Rattraycseitz Recent comment authors
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JCF
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JCF

“many people in Scotland identify themselves as Church of England or Anglican, rather than as Episcopalian, or belonging to the Scottish Episcopal Church”

Does that relate to mobility, and identity? That they’re just CofE’er who happens to currently live in Scotland, rather than a Scottish Anglican?

Robert ian Williams
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Robert ian Williams

I suspect the Catholic figures have been massaged by immigration. The Mormons officially claim just under 27,000 members in Scotland and the census reveal less than 5,000 are active.

Of course the Church of England must be pleased that specific denominational information is excluded in the returns for England.

cseitz
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cseitz

Having lived in St Andrews for almost a decade, I confess to being surprised by this, “many people in Scotland identify themselves as Church of England or Anglican, rather than as Episcopalian, or belonging to the Scottish Episcopal Church.” To be sure, St Andrews (e.g.) is a very ‘english’ town in Scotland; and to be sure, many Scottish Episcopalians are English folk living in Scotland. But I was still very surprised to see such a small percentage pick ‘Scottish Episcopal Church’ as against other choices. That is of course the church of the Anglican Communion in Scotland. There are no… Read more »

robert ian williams
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robert ian williams

JCF…The same thing happened in South Africa. Many British immigrants listed themselves as Church of England rather than Church of the Province, and so by default were numbered with the Evangelical denomination, the Church of England in South Africa which refused to be part of the Church of the Province.

Claire H
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Claire H

There appear to be many more Jedi Knights in Scotland than Scottish Episcopalians.

Father Ron Smith
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re the observation of cseitz – about the incidence of English people living in Scotland still calling themselves ‘Church of England. This happens in most countries where Anglicanism is established.

Certainly in New Zealand, there are those who still consider themselves ‘Church of England’. After all, it was probably the Church in which they were baptised – and they have not been required to re-submit to Baptism in their new Anglican Church.

cseitz
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cseitz

There is of course no equivalent to the “Church of England in South Africa” in Scotland.

Kelvin Holdsworth
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The number of Jedi Knights has fallen considerably since the 2001 census. They appear to have a more serious membership problem than some of the churches in Scotland.

11746 claim to be Jedi whilst over 30000 claim to be Episcopalians. Over 100000 claim to be Anglicans of one kind or another in Scotland.

The Force appears to be with us rather than with the Jedi.

cseitz
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cseitz

Of course the established church in Scotland is the Church of Scotland, where the Queen worships when resident in Scotland. When the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland meets, it does so in the presence of the Lord High Commissioner. So I do not understand the comparison to New Zealand. Does Professor Trevor Hart from Nottingham, who is the rector of St Andrews Parish, St Andrews (SEC) answer this survey and list himself ‘CofE’? One would think not. If I were the Primus of the SEC (himself a N. Irishman) I’d be more concerned to explain this oddity than… Read more »

Simon Kershaw
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My recollection of Scottish church history is that there was a time when there very specifically was a ‘Church of England in Scotland’. This was during the period when episcopalianism was illegal in Scotland, but provision had to be made for the many English people who lived and worked north of the border. So there were registered chapels of the Church of England. I think these continued eben when the penalties against episcopalianism were abolished and the Scottish Episcopal Church formally organized itself as a separate denomination rather than seeing itself as the Church of Scotland in exile / Babylonian… Read more »

Kelvin Holdsworth
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Simon Kershaw has a few bits of accurate history swirling around in his memory. However the idea of a Church of England in Scotland isn’t really terribly helpful – it was never quite so. What he is thinking of is the distinction between Qualified Chapels (who agreed to pray for the Hanoverians) and the Non-Jurors who didn’t. Generally, it might be said that the Qualified Chapels looked more towards England whilst the Non-Jurors were of Jacobite heritage. However, it is important not to generalise too much. Recently it was discovered that the land for the Qualified Chapel in Glasgow was… Read more »

John Penman
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John Penman

Simon Kershaw, the Qualified Chapels were pretty much in the SEC by 1920 when Montrose became part of the Diocese of Brechin (hence the dedication of the Church to Ss Mary & Peter a Qualified Saint and a jacobite). However other 1662 using churches came out of later splits like the Drummondite Schism in the 19th century and the likes of St Thomas’s Corstorphine in Edinburgh and St Silas’s in Glasgow only used Scottish rather than English Bishops for confirmation into the 1990’s.

cseitz
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cseitz

“Whether it explains why so many people see themselves as ‘CofE’ in Scotland is another matter.”

Precisely (even leaving aside the historical corrections helpfully supplied above).

Robert ian williams
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Robert ian williams

The issue with the qualified chapels was one of churchmanship.They were evangelical, and still are. St Thomas is conservative evangelical with the largest congregation in the SEC… They resented the high church nature of the Scottish Episcopal Church and that is why it took years before they joined the SEC. St Thomas wish they had never joined.

cseitz
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cseitz

I believe P’s and G’s in Edinburgh is bigger.

St Thomas, St Silas (Glasgow) and P’s and G’s also were ecumenically open. That was at the time considered taboo.

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

Robert Ian Williams – it is easy to suggest that the issue with Qualified Chapels was one of churchmanship. However, that can scarcely be proved by reference to St Thomas, Corstorphine. It was English Episcopal, not a Qualified Chapel.

There was considerably more interaction between the Jacobite congregation and the Qualified Chapel in Glasgow than is usually supposed possible. It isn’t just about churchmanship and is isn’t as simple as two rival denominations, one English and one Scottish.

ian
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ian

I suspect the Catholic figures have been massaged by immigration

O well, we can ignore them then.

Edward Prebble
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Edward Prebble

Does anyone know what was the form of the original questionnaire? If respondents were asked simply “what denomination do you belong to”, and given a free choice to write in the responses, then I am as mystified as everyone else that so many people called themselves C of E. But if they were offered a number of suggestions, including C of E and Episcopalian, then the range of answers makes a lot more sense. After all, despite the many fine points above, many people who attend Episcopalian/Anglican churches in Scotland would regard the terms as almost synonymous, and perhaps there… Read more »

magistra
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Edward – the full census questionnaire is at http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/files2/the-census/scotlands-census-2011-specimen-questionnaire.pdf. Question 13 asked: “What religion, religious denomination or body do you belong to?” and the boxes it gave for Christian were Church of Scotland/Roman Catholic/Other Christian, with Others being asked to write down details. So neither C of E nor SEC were mentioned.

I suspect much of the answer comes from English people living in Scotland. I have relatives who retired to Scotland and attend an Episcopalian Church, but would probably still consider themselves C of E.

cseitz
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cseitz

“I have relatives who retired to Scotland and attend an Episcopalian Church” — fine so far as it goes, but how it accounts for 66K+ selecting ‘Church of England’ and only 8K the SEC is far from clear.

Kelvin Holdsworth
Guest

Come, come, cseitz, we’ve already established that people did not select these answers from a list, they wrote them in. And it was nearer 30K who thought they were Episcopalians not 8K. I know of no-one who would seriously think that those who wrote in Episcopalians and those who wrote in Scottish Episcopal Church thought of themselves as belonging to two different churches. I can’t even remember which one I wrote in. It is surprising that so many wrote in C of E. However, that may be very little to do with the Scottish Episcopal Church and a great deal… Read more »

cseitz
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cseitz

“it isn’t a clear cut picture however you look at it” — who said otherwise?

66K people declaring ‘Church of England’ within Scotland is extremely odd.

Brian Rattray
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Brian Rattray

Interesting discussion: but misses the real point. 54% of the population are Christian. Let’s consider how that percentage can be increased by 2021 irrespective of denomination.

John Bunyan
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John Bunyan

Recently I attended a weekday Holy Communion at St John’s Episcopal Church in Perth, in the 19th century an English church, long since a part of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The Bishop locum used the 1662 service as found in the 1929 Scottish Prayer Book – perhaps a relic of that old association. However, on my visits to Scotland this year and last, I saw references only to the Scottish Episcopal Church. I might add that despite difficulties faced by the mainline churches there and in my own country, I was impressed by the Episcopal and Church of Scotland churches… Read more »

Richard Coutts
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Richard Coutts

The name Anglican can refer to anyone living in
any part of the world, it would denote a member of
the Anglican Church or Communion.
In Scotland, the correct way would be Scottish
Episcopalian, like with the Welsh, Church in Wales
or in Ireland, Church of Ireland.

anne rennie
Guest
anne rennie

I was baptised and confirmed a Scottish Episcopalian and object to being classed as Anglican or C of E. While I have no problem worshipping with any Christian Faith I am first and foremost Episcopalian. I have English relatives but feel that when English people come north they try to change Episcopalians into something they have never been. I have in fact stopped going to church because I no longer know in what way my church is worshipping or what message they are putting out. No criticism intended.