Thursday, 1 August 2013

London Church Census

British Religion in Numbers reported back in June on this:

…Church attendance in Greater London grew by 16% between 2005 and 2012, from 620,000 to 720,000, representing 9% of the capital’s population at the latter date, and thereby bucking the downward trend in most national religious indicators. The number of places of worship in London also rose during these seven years, by 17% from 4,100 to 4,800. Growth was especially to be found among black majority and immigrant churches, which together accounted for 27% of all Christian places of worship in London in 2012 and 24% of churchgoers. Black people were far more likely to attend services than whites (19% against 8%), and in Inner London 48% of worshippers were black.

This reliance upon ethnicity and migration also explains other facts revealed by the census, such as that 14% of all churches use a language other than English or that 52% of attenders are in evangelical churches (reflecting the evangelical proclivities of black Christians). By contrast, many traditional, smaller places of worship (with congregations under 200) are still contracting; they represent 50% of churches but just 22% of churchgoers. Overall, Anglicans are declining and Catholics only just growing. Moreover, the net increase of 100,000 worshippers from 2005 to 2012 disproportionately comprised women (82%), although the female majority in congregations as a whole was much lower (56%). The mean age of attenders was 41 years, ranging from 33 in the Pentecostal and New Churches to 56 for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches…

More recently Crossing London reported:

…The first findings from The London Church Census, commissioned by London City Mission and undertaken by the Brierley Consultancy in October 2012, indicate that 720,000 people in London attend church, nearly 100,000 more than the last time churchgoing was counted seven years ago. That’s an increase of 16% between 2005 and 2012.
“We are very encouraged to see from this census that many hundreds of thousands of people still consider ‘churchgoing’ as an important part of their lives,” said Andy Frost, Mission Director of Crossing London…

…A summary of the findings of the 2012 London Church Census can be found at

There are several interesting charts and tables in that last document.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 1 August 2013 at 11:00pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | News

Just goes to shew the value of having a Traditionalist bishop.

Posted by: Father David on Friday, 2 August 2013 at 6:36am BST

Umm, not to begrudge London diocese its growth, but this survey covers the territory of all three dioceses, London, Southwark, Chelmsford.

And it reports that "Overall, Anglicans are declining ".

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 2 August 2013 at 9:07am BST

Because Anglicanism in decline according to these figures even despite overall growth in attendance?

Posted by: ExRevd on Friday, 2 August 2013 at 9:10am BST

What it boils down to is that new immigrants, from countries with a strong church tradition, can sustain a reasonable sized number of churches in a city that has a lot of new immigrants.

It's hard to know where to start on the problems with that as a long-term strategy. Leaving aside the issue of what Christianity looks like when it ends up as something pretty much disconnected from the the long-term population, and what happens to it as immigrant communities integrate and inter-marry, there's the minor problem that levels on inward migration from countries that will provide these church-going new immigrants is a matter of some slight political controversy at the moment.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Friday, 2 August 2013 at 9:25am BST

"Just goes to shew the value of having a Traditionalist bishop."

Yes indeed! I'm sure that is the driving force behind immigration. ;-)

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 2 August 2013 at 3:24pm BST
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