Cathedrals attract record numbers at Christmas
09 November 2017
Christmas attendance at services in cathedrals last year reached its highest figure since records began, statistics published today show. A one year rise of 5%, meant that 131,000 people came to cathedrals to worship last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Increased attendances were also recorded at services in Advent with 635,000 coming to worship during the busy pre-Christmas build-up. Average weekly attendances at services on a Sunday also increased to 18,700.
Meanwhile, over 10 million people visited cathedrals and Westminster Abbey with half donating or paying for entry.
The Rt Revd John Inge, Bishop of Worcester, and lead bishop for cathedrals and church buildings, said: “Behind these figures lie stories of worship, learning, exploring faith and spirituality and encountering God at times of joy and despair.
“Through new forms of worship, bringing people of all faiths and none together, and serving the young and old alike, these amazing places continue to be at the heart of national life.”
Life events including baptisms, memorial services, marriages and blessings of marriage all remained steady in numbers with some, including baptism, seeing modest increases.
Cathedrals continued to be centres of civic life, with 1.2 million people reported at 6,000 civic services and events. In 2016, 295,000 people attended 280 graduation ceremonies.
Becky Clark, Director of Churches and Cathedrals, said: “These statistics show the enduring appeal of cathedrals as places of worship, pilgrimage, and tourism.
“This is testament to the hard work clergy, staff and volunteers put into making them welcoming and inspiring places.
“The last few years have been particularly busy, with substantial building and repair programmes at many cathedrals, ensuring these beautiful, complex historic buildings can continue to be at the heart of their communities.”
Cathedrals are holding increasingly diverse services to reach out to people.
In 2016 there were 16,500 Fresh Expression services, a 12% increase since 2013.
Over half a million people came to regular services conducted at least once a month, half of which were school services.
Some 310,000 young people also attended cathedrals through special educational visits, a rise of 10% since 2006.
Cathedral clergy and staff across the country participated in 350 formal inter-faith forums and events.
Notes to Editors
The Cathedral Statistics 2016 report can be found here.
Fresh Expressions are new church communities and congregations that practice church in new ways to reach new people.13 Comments
Also released this week is Finance Statistics 2015.
Church Times reporters write about these reports:
Madeleine Davies Too few children in too many pews, latest C of E mission statistics warn
Tim Wyatt Church of England reaching more people online than ever before
Tim Wyatt Good news and bad news on parish finances, statistics show
Olivia Rudgard writes for The Telegraph: Church of England reaches more on social media than in services.
Links to statistics for earlier years can be found here.33 Comments
The Church of England has released its Ministry Statistics 2016, and an accompanying press release which is copied below. There is also a fact sheet on the number of ordinands entering training this year.
Number of women in ordained ministry at record high
27 September 2017
The number of people entering training to become priests in the Church of England is at the highest level for a decade with women making up more than half the total, according to new figures released today.
A total of 544 men and women are starting training for ordained ministry this autumn (known as ordinands), an increase of 14% on last year and the highest figure for 10 years, according to statistics from the Ministry Division of the Church of England.
Women make up more than half of those entering training, or 274 ordinands, the biggest intake of female ordinands for a decade, and an increase of 19% compared to last year. At the same time, the number of younger ordinands, in the under 32 age group, rose by nearly two fifths, and now accounts for 28% of the total.22 Comments
Savi Hensman has written this article, published by Ekklesia: Few British Christians think same-sex relationships ‘always wrong’.
Only a sixth of British Anglicans agree with the Church of England’s official view on same-sex relationships, the 2016 British Social Attitudes Survey reveals. Opinions among other Christians too have shifted hugely.
Just 16 per cent of Anglicans now believe that sex between two adults of the same sex is always wrong. The percentage is even lower among Roman Catholics – just 13 per cent, similar to the average of 12 per cent for all faiths and none.
This rises to 19 per cent for other Christians and 37 per cent among other faiths, while it is just five per cent for those of no religion. However Natcen, which carries out the survey, warns that the numbers of Catholics and non-Christians surveyed was low, so their figures may not be wholly reliable.
The wording of the question is also unclear, making it harder to interpret the results. People are asked whether sexual relations between two adults of the same sex are always wrong, mostly wrong, sometimes wrong, rarely wrong or not wrong at all.
But choosing ‘mostly wrong’, ‘sometimes wrong’ or ‘rarely wrong’ might have nothing to do with gender. For instance some Christians might opt for ‘sometimes wrong’ because they disapprove of casual sex or infidelity, for opposite-sex or same-sex couples…
The original press release from the National Centre for Social Research is here: British Social Attitudes reveals Britain wants less nanny state, more attentive parent which includes the following:
…Free to love: Britain’s sexual liberalisation continues unfettered with views on everything from sex before marriage to same-sex relationships and adult films becoming more liberal than ever before. Most striking has been the shift in the views of Britain’s Christian population and the closing of the gap in views between younger and older people.
- Sex before marriage: Three quarters (75%) now say sex before marriage is “not wrong at all”. This stood at under two thirds (64%) in 2012. 73% of Anglicans agree that sex before marriage is not at all wrong, up from 54% only four years earlier and around double the proportion who said this in 1985. In 2005 the gap between the youngest and the oldest people on whether sex before marriage is “not wrong at all” was 53 percentage points, it has now halved to 25 points.
- Same-sex relationships: Attitudes towards same-sex relationships have become significantly more liberal with 64% of people now saying that they are “not wrong at all”, up from 59% in 2015, and 47% in 2012. Over half (55%) of Anglicans say same-sex relationships are “not wrong at all”, up from 31% only four years previously.
And the full text of the relevant chapter of the study is downloadable from here.
Two tables which show the more detailed breakdown referenced by the Ekklesia article can be seen here.27 Comments
There will be a day conference on this subject, held on Friday 24 February, at Whitelands College of the University of Roehampton.
– Questioning Church Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion: David
Goodhew (Cranmer Hall, St Johns College, Durham University)
– Nigeria: Dr Richard Burgess (University of Roehampton)
– USA: Dr Jeremy Bonner (Durham University)
– South America (Rt Revd Maurice Sinclair)
– Congo (Dr Emma Wildwood, Cambridge University)
– South Africa (Dr Barbara Bompani, University of Edinburgh)
– Ghana (Rev Dr Daniel Eshun, University of Roehampton)
– South America (Rt Revd Maurice Sinclair, retired)
– Congo (Dr Emma Wildwood, Cambridge University)
– South Africa (Dr Barbara Bompani, University of Edinburgh)
– Ghana (Rev Dr Daniel Eshun, University of Roehampton)
– England: Professor David Voas (University College, London)
– Theology, Growth and Decline: the Rt Revd Graham Kings (Mission Theologian,
The conference is based upon a recently published book of the same title, edited by Professor David Goodhew, details of which – including a full table of contents – are shown on the publisher’s website here.2 Comments
The Church of England has issued its Statistics for Mission 2015 today. There is no accompanying press release, but the document includes this executive summary.
2015 Church of England participation summary
Trends in participation
There is now a press release, 2015 Attendance Statistics published, copied below the fold.
Hattie Williams Church Times Church has ‘a strong base to work from’ despite further fall in numbers
John Bingham The Telegraph British families only attend church at Christmas, new figures suggest
Archdruid Eileen Liturgy of the Calculation of the Attendance Figures
Will Worley Independent Church of England loses more than 100,000 worshipers in a decade
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Why Do People Stop Going To Church? Church of England Fails To Halt Decline7 Comments
Cathedral statistics 2015 show continued growth
23 September 2016
Attendance at cathedral worship continues to increase with mid-week attendance rising and Sunday attendance stable in 2015, according to the latest Cathedral Statistics, published today. The figures confirm the trend of gradual growth in cathedral attendance noted in the report From Anecdote to Evidence published in 2014.
On average, 36,700 people (adults and children) attended services each week at the 42 cathedrals in England during 2015. This is an increase of 18% from 31,200 in 2005. Midweek attendance increased from 12,700 to 18,900, contributing most of the increase. Attendance at Sunday services has remained generally stable, at around 17,900 in 2015. Numbers on community rolls increased by 5% from 15,100 in 2014 to 15,900 in 2015.
Other regular services, such as fresh expressions and schools services conducted at least once a month and not part of the weekly pattern of services, attracted 471,300. More than 1.1 million people attended 5,310 public/civic events held in cathedrals.
“These figures are extremely encouraging,” said the Very Reverend Dr Pete Wilcox, Dean of Liverpool. “They show that, up and down the country, cathedrals are sustaining the growth that has been reported for a number of years. Clearly, something about cathedral worship is meeting a need and contributing significantly to the spiritual life of the nation.”
Easter and Christmas
Easter 2015, services saw 54,000 attending worship, 2% more than in 2014. There were 28,200 Easter communicants, the highest figure since 2009. Attendance during Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, was 92,500.
Christmas attendance was 125,200 in 2015, the highest figure since 2011. There were 33,100 communicants at Christmas in 2015. Services during Advent, the period leading up to Christmas, attracted an attendance of 824,300 in 2015, the highest figure for the past decade. All events and services from the beginning of Advent to 23 December are captured in the Advent total.
Baptisms, Marriages and Thanksgivings
In 2015, 760 baptisms and 12 thanksgivings were conducted in cathedrals, a number almost unchanged since 2010. Since 2011, the number of infant baptisms in cathedrals has been falling steadily, while the number of baptisms of people over a year of age has steadily increased since 2005.
In the year, 270 marriages and 30 blessings were conducted in cathedrals. The number of funerals has remained stable over the last ten years at 370 with a further 120 memorial services conducted by cathedral clergy; 70 funerals were conducted at crematoria on behalf of cathedrals.
Children and Young People
The number of children and young people attending organised educational events in cathedrals increased by 14% from 280,900 in 2005 to 320,000 in 2015; a further 13,100 children visited Westminster Abbey. More than half of these visits were by children under 11 years old. Cathedral schools or schools formally associated with cathedrals had 12,440 children on their rolls in 2015. Attendance at graduation ceremonies was 264,700 and at other public events such as concerts was 842,400 in 2015.
Cathedral choirs included 1,490 child choristers and 550 lay clerks and choral scholars in 2015. A further 600 children and 1,410 adults were involved in voluntary choirs. The cathedrals have, between them, 40 male, 30 female and 80 mixed cathedral choirs: 790 visiting choirs sang in one service or a week of services and more than 1,140 regular and 620 occasional musicians were involved in services in 2015.
The number of people volunteering at cathedrals rose by 13% from 13,300 in 2005 to 15,000 in 2015. There were 9.4 million visitors to cathedrals in 2015; a further 1 million people visited Westminster Abbey.
Cathedral Statistics 2015 can be read in full here.
The report From Anecdote to Evidence can be read here.10 Comments
Updated to add press reports
The Church of England has released two related reports on clergy numbers today, one looking back at the actual numbers from 1949 to 2014, and one looking at projections of numbers up to 2035. There is this cover note to the two reports:
Cover note: Ordained Vocations Statistics report and Ministry Statistics in focus: Stipendiary clergy projections
and a press release.
Increase in ministry numbers is necessary and achievable, report shows
Dioceses have responded to the call to work towards a 50% increase in candidates for ordination with new posts and new procedures. A review of numbers in ordained ministry over the last 67 years shows that the 50% increase in candidates for ministry by 2020 agreed by the General Synod in February, 2015, is needed to stabilise and increase the numbers ministering in parishes, chaplaincies and new forms of church.
The Church of England is seeking to increase by half the numbers training for ordained ministry and to sustain those numbers for a decade: an increase from about 500 to 750 by 2020. At the same time, the Church is also seeking greater diversity among those training for ministry. This will better reflect the communities where the Church is working, in terms of age, gender and ethnic and social background. The 50% increase is an aspiration and not a limit if more candidates come forward and dioceses require more new clergy…
The full press release is copied below the fold.
The cover note includes links to the two reports, but for convenience here they are.
The cover note also includes links to a report for each of the 42 dioceses. In each case it comprises the Ordained Vocations Statistics report with diocesan data at the end.
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England seeks more black and minority ethnic clergy
Gavin Drake Anglican Communion News Service Church of England needs 50 per cent increase in ordinands
Hannah Tooley Premier Church pledges to increase numbers of vicar training places by half
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today CofE desperate for more young women and ethnic minorities to hear the call of God
John Bingham The Telegraph Race to save a much-loved British endangered species (the local vicar)21 Comments
Parish finances show record level of giving
The generosity of churchgoers from across the country is highlighted in the latest parish finance statistics. The figures – covering the year 2014 – demonstrate a record level of giving with total planned giving up £6 million at £329 million and total direct giving up £71 million at £481 million.
The figures also show that Church of England parishes donated £46 million to supporting other charities working around the world, from foodbanks and local children’s charities to international aid appeals.
Parishes raised these important funds from a combination of regular and one-off donations as well as investments and legacies. Total parish income from giving, investments and other income sources was £989 million – an increase of £36 million on the previous year. Expenditure levels also rose by £28 million to £948 million in 2014, leaving the 12,000 parishes a surplus of £41 million over expenditure.
Dr John Preston, the Church of England’s national stewardship adviser, said:
“These financial statistics reveal an underlying financial health in the church which is encouraging. As a result of the commitment and generosity of hundreds of thousands of churchgoers, we have seen record levels of giving – with the average weekly gift from all planned givers exceeding £11 for the first time, and the average gift from those able to give through Gift Aid exceeding £15 including the tax recovered. Parishes were able to claim record levels of Gift Aid, with a significant part of this increase arising from use of the Gift Aid Small Donations scheme. It is also pleasing to note that legacy giving was the highest yet.”
Average weekly giving per tax-efficient givers has continued to rise year on year with members giving on average £12.01 in 2014. Average weekly giving per electoral roll member rose to £8.85 in 2014, an increase of £1.60 a week and the highest level recorded. Total planned giving rose by slightly less than inflation, while total income grew by more than inflation.
Time Wyatt reports for Church Times that Parishioners give more — but not enough to cancel out costs.0 Comments
Updated Sunday morning
The Church of England has today released new Ministry Statistics giving trends in ministry over the period between 2012 and 2015: Ministry Statistics 2012-2015. There is also a short commentary provided by the Venerable Julian Hubbard, Director of Ministry, and detailed Diocesan tables in a separate excel file. There is also a press release, copied below.
Press coverage includes:
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian C of E in ageing clergy crisis with 25% of ministers aged over 60
Aaron James Premier Church of England: We need to Rev up clergy numbers
Rose Hudson-Wilkin and Peter Ould were interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (starting at 1hr 21min).
Ian Paul and Peter Ould write about the figures here: Do we have enough vicars?
Jeremy Fletcher has written The Church of England’s Middle Aged Spread.
David Keen has written The Leading of the 5,000 part 2 – vocations and canaries.
Church of England press release
Church of England releases new Ministry Statistics
The Church of England has released new Ministry Statistics giving trends in ministry over the period between 2012 and 2015.
The statistics show that total ordained ministry over the last 4 years has remained stable, with over 20,000 ordained people serving the church in various roles.
The number of stipendiary clergy has fallen from 8,300 to 8,000 between 2012 and 2015.
The proportion of stipendiary clergy who are women increased from 24% in 2012 to 27% in 2015. And 19% of senior staff in 2015 were women, up from 12% in 2012.
Nationally, 13% of parish clergy are aged under 40, while a quarter are 60 and over.
There was an increase in stipendiary clergy from Black and Minority Ethnic communities from 3% in 2012 to 3.4% in 2015.
In his commentary, the Church of England Director of Ministry, Julian Hubbard, writes: “While the number of stipendiary ordinations showed a welcome increase between 2012 and 2015, this is not sufficient to redress the gathering effect of clergy retirements predicted over the next ten years.”
“The statistics on the age and ethnicity of clergy show that we still have some way to go to ensure that the whole cohort fully reflects the demographics of the wider community.”
“The good news is that there is a growing readiness to meet these challenges.”
Mike Eastwood, Director of Renewal and Reform, the Church of England’s major response to falling church attendance, said: “These figures support what we have been saying about the need for renewal and reform in the Church of England.”
“Renewal and Reform is about a message of hope, through changed lives and transformed communities, as people discover their vocation to love God and serve others.
“Renewal and Reform is not a top-down project to fix the church, but a narrative of local hope in God shared throughout the church.”
“As part of Renewal and Reform, we are currently consulting on how we better release the gifts of all Christian leaders in church and wider society, whether ordained or not.”
Notes for editors
The last Ministry Statistics paper was published by the Church of England in 2012. The implementation of a new clergy payroll system in 2012 initially made it more difficult to extract data for ministry statistics.
The Ministry Statistics paper and Commentary are available here.
The Church of England’s Renewal and Reform Facebook page is here.18 Comments
Updated Wednesday morning
Stephen Bullivant of the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, has published a report Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales (free pdf download). Despite its title the report is not confined to Catholicism, as the headlines of these press reports make clear.
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian People of no religion outnumber Christians in England and Wales – study
Rose Gamble and Megan Cornwell The Tablet Catholic Church in England and Wales is failing to attract new believers, finds report
John Bingham The Telegraph Exodus: churches lose 11 worshippers for every new member
Mark Woods Christian Today Religious ‘nones’ outnumber Christians in England and Wales
The Guardian article starts
The number of people who say they have no religion is rapidly escalating and significantly outweighs the Christian population in England and Wales, according to new analysis.
The proportion of the population who identify as having no religion – referred to as “nones” – reached 48.5% in 2014, almost double the figure of 25% in the 2011 census. Those who define themselves as Christian – Anglicans, Catholics and other denominations – made up 43.8% of the population…
St Mary’s University has its own news item, St Mary’s Study Finds London Most Religious Area in England and Wales, and a page of key findings.
Lucy Denyer The Telegraph Fewer churchgoers? That’s no bad thing if it means they’re there for a reason
Mark Woods Christian Today The rise of the ‘nones’: Why are people leaving the Church?24 Comments
Updated Tuesday evening
The Church of England has published its Statistics for Mission 2014 today with an accompanying press release, copied below. The statistics mainly cover numbers attending, but there are also figures on, for example, numbers joining and leaving (with reasons), electoral numbers, baptisms, marriages, and funerals.
The statistics can be downloaded from here as a 58 page pdf file.
Church Publishes 2014 Attendance Statistics
12 January 2016
New Church of England statistics for 2014 published today show that just under one million people attend services each week. The survey, carried out over four weeks in October 2014, found 980,000 people attending church each week, with 830,000 adults and 150,000 children.
The statistics also show that 2.4 million attended a Church of England Church at Christmas in 2014 and 1.3 million people attended a service at Easter. Additionally, 2.2 million people attended special Advent services for the congregation and local community whilst 2.6 million attended special Advent services for civic organisations and schools.
The statistics also highlight the other services carried out by the Church of England on a regular basis. In 2014 the Church carried out just under 1,000 weddings, 2,000 baptisms, and almost 3,000 funerals every week of the year. Some 12% of births during 2014 were marked by a Church of England infant baptism or thanksgiving service whilst 31% of deaths were marked by a Church of England funeral.
As a whole the figures represent a continuing trend which has shown a 12% decrease in attendance over the past decade with an average decline of just over 1% a year.
Speaking on the publication of the statistics, the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt. Revd. Graham James, said:
“The 2014 figures are not in any way a surprise. Whilst the recent trend of the past decade continues, it has been anticipated and is being acted on radically.
“As part of a prayerful and considered response to these trends the Church is embarking upon the biggest renewal and reform process in over 150 years focusing our resources on prayer, evangelism, discipleship, vocations, leadership & training.
“We do not expect that trend to change imminently or immediately over the next few years due to demographics. We lose approximately 1% of our churchgoers to death each year. Given the age profile of the CofE, the next few years will continue to have downward pressure as people die or become housebound and unable to attend church.
“As a Church we are unashamedly committed to following the teachings of Jesus Christ in our worship of God, discipleship and service to the poor and the marginalised. Our confidence, resilience and service is rooted in Jesus.
“The story is not one of inevitable decline. During 2013-14 some dioceses continued to increase their attendance. In the past 12 months alone there are examples of growth and new churches across the country. In my own diocese the church of St. Thomas Norwich has grown from 50 to 450 people in the past two years. In Bournemouth, St Swithin’s – a church which started in 2014 – now sees 500 people attending every week whilst in Birmingham St Luke’s Gas Street in is already attracting hundreds of young people since its beginning in 2015. There are many others like these and each is a sign of hope.
“Attendance statistics do not tell the whole story. There are many things that churches do that are not included in these data from running homelessness services and hosting foodbanks, to educating a million children a day in our schools to providing welcome and accompaniment to the least, the last and the lost in our society.”
Mark Hart looks at the figures for the diocese of London: Capital Growth or Northern Powerhouse?.
John Bingham The Telegraph Church of England attendance plunges to record low
Harriet Sherwood The Guardian Church of England weekly attendance falls below 1m for first time
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Church of England weekly attendance falls below one million for first time22 Comments
Updated on Friday to add questions 36 and 37 and their answer below the fold
In the Questions session at this week’s General Synod the Secretary General was asked about turnout in the recent elections to Synod. In reply he gave these figures, together with those from 2010 for comparison.
|Highest turnout clergy||67.96||(Birmingham)||75.00||(Ely)|
|Lowest turnout clergy||45.60||(Hereford)||43.20||(Bristol)|
|Highest turnout laity||72.10||(Guildford)||64.13||(Chelmsford)|
|Lowest turnout laity||29.82||(Hereford)||37.83||(Lincoln)|
|Highest turnout clergy||69.00||(Sodor & Man)||73.90||(Sodor & Man)|
|Lowest turnout clergy||39.86||(Liverpool)||46.50||(Liverpool)|
|Highest turnout laity||56.96||(Chester)||54.70||(Sodor & Man)|
|Lowest turnout laity||34.74||(Liverpool)||36.30||(Liverpool)|
The Church of England has just published its Financial Overview 2013 which draws together the finances of the Church of England into one place. It aggregates financial information from over 12,000 parishes, 44 dioceses, 41 cathedrals and 3 National Church Institutions as the press release below explains.
New report consolidates finances of the Church of England
10 November 2015
The Church of England has published a new overview of its finances for the 10 years from 2004-2013, drawing together information from over 12,000 parishes, 44 dioceses, 41 cathedrals and three National Church Institutions (NCIs) into one place.
The report finds that the church’s overall income in 2013 was just over £1.41 billion, over half of which was from donations from parishioners, fundraising and grants. It also shows that the majority of the income from the NCIs is from the Church Commissioners, an investment fund of around £6 billion which uses its returns to support the mission of the church across the country.
Carol Fletcher, Senior Financial Planner for the Church of England, said “Bringing together statistics from across the Church of England is a great way of showing the extent of what we do and how we function. Through our investments, trading income and of course the generosity of parishioners, we have been able to continue in our mission to be a Christian presence in every community.”
The report also reveals:
Weekly giving per parishioner has increased across the period of the study.
Two thirds (67%) of the Church of England’s income comes from parishes, 9% from dioceses, 9% from cathedrals and 15% from the NCIs (predominantly the Church Commissioners).
Expenditure in 2013 was slightly higher than income, at just under £1.43 billion. Just over half of expenditure was for clergy stipends, clergy housing and parishes, and cathedral operating costs.
Caring for church buildings, including cathedrals, represents 13% of overall expenditure.
The report is available to download here.
The Church of England is made up of a number of distinct but interconnected organisations, all of which are independent bodies. The Financial Overview amalgamates the finances of the Church of England to show its scale as if it were one, consolidated organisation.
The three National Church Institutions covered by the report are the Archbishops’ Council, the Church Commissioners, and the Church of England Pensions Board.3 Comments
Updated Thursday and Friday
Cathedrals in England welcome over 10 million annually
19 August 2015
More than 10 million people visited Cathedrals in England in 2014, according to new figures published today in the Church of England’s Cathedral Research and Statistics report. Research shows that the highest motivating factors for Cathedral attendance were peace and contemplation, worship and music and friendly atmosphere.*
In 2014 the average number of adults and children attending Cathedral services each week was 36,000. This has increased by more than a fifth in the last decade. The three regions showing the strongest growth are Yorkshire and the Humber, London and the South East. Key aspects of growth that have been identified were creating a sense of community, quality of worship, service, preaching and music, exploring new patterns of service, spiritual openness and emphasis on families and young people.
Bev Botting, Head of Research and Statistics at the Archbishops Council, said: “Over the last decade we have seen growth in both visitors and worship at Cathedrals. Cathedral promotes spiritual openness, inclusivity and diversity in membership and outreach. Christmas and Easter are particularly busy times but we have also seen the increase of adult and child mid-week attendance. Cathedrals continue to play an important role in religious life, education and music.”
The number of young people attending educational events at cathedrals increased by nearly 14% between 2004 and 2014. At the centre of cathedral life is the daily offering of worship and praise. 4000 child and adult choristers were involved in providing traditional choral music in 2014, half as volunteers. Indeed over the last ten years the number of volunteers supporting the mission and ministry of cathedrals has risen to 15,200.
The Very Reverend Christopher Dalliston, the Dean of St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle,said: “One of the things we’ve done is to try to respond to the number of tourists and visitors. We’ve developed a chaplaincy scheme so as well as having welcomers to help people who want to come and explore we can articulate clearly the spiritual dimension of the cathedral and we have found that’s been enormously appreciated.
St Nicholas has also developed to meet the needs of the night time economy and for several years has hosted the street pastors scheme in the cathedral and outside to care for the vulnerable members of the night time economy and people who need pastoral care. The cathedral has introduced a night church model and from time to time is open on Friday nights to enable people to come and find stillness, peace and spiritual exploration in an informal context. Two to three hundred people have been attending a late night compline service.
The Dean continued: “What people have really discovered is that when they drop in to worship or visit they find a community that is welcoming, open and inclusive. I think that’s one of the things that’s been really significant in cathedral growth in every respect: in worship, developing groups and responding to the needs of the community. It’s the fact that permission is offered for anyone to come whenever and for whatever purpose but that there is an opportunity to engage at a deeper level.”
“A place of peace to worship and pray after a busy day at work.” From Anecdote to Evidence – Findings from the Church Growth Research Programme.
Read Reverend Christopher Dalliston, the Dean of St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle blog ‘Open All Hours’ here.
Listen to Revered Christopher Dalliston, the Dean of St Nicholas’ Cathedral, Newcastle, interview here.
View the Cathedral Research and Statistics Report here.
John Bingham The Telegraph Cathedrals booming thanks to ‘late night shopping’ tactics
Katherine Backler The Tablet Church of England reports 10 million visitors to English cathedrals last year
Aaron James Premier 10 million visited cathedrals in 2014
Tim Wyatt Church Times Cathedrals enjoy increased growth in visitors and worshippers
Ruth Gledhill Christian Today Cathedral attendance falls for first time in 7 years30 Comments
The Church of England has released Finance Statistics 2013, containing information provided by parishes in their annual finance returns. They can be downloaded as a 25 page pdf document.
There is an accompanying press release.
Almost £1billion sets new record for Church of England parish giving
30 July 2015
Parish Churches across the country raised a record £953 million in 2013 to fund the mission and ministry of the Church of England according to statistics published today. Parishes raised these important funds from a combination of regular and one-off donations as well as investments and legacies.
Parishes have seen a combined increase in income of £24m over figures from 2012, and after total expenditure, which also decreased on 2012, saw a £33m surplus.
In addition to supporting the work of the Church at parish, diocesan and national level, Parishes have continued to give more than £46m to other organisations working around the world, from foodbanks and local children’s charities to international aid appeals.
Dr John Preston, the Church of England’s national stewardship adviser, said:
“With the latest financial statistics, we’ve seen average weekly giving rise in 2013 to our highest ever level. We rely on the generosity of our committed church members to support the mission and ministry of the Church. Post-downturn, people have really looked at what is important to them and found a sense of community and belonging within the Church.”
Average weekly giving per tax-efficient subscriber has continued to rise year on year with members giving on average £11.60 in 2013. Average weekly giving per church member rose to £7 in 2013, matching the peak level seen in 2009.The average ‘Church member’ contributed 3.3% of their income to the Church. with 2.9% to general funds, and a further 0.4% to special purpose funds.
The information in the Finance statistics document is collated from the annual parish returns, and is available here.
You can read a blog by John Preston on the latest statistics here.
The press release also includes some case studies.
Some earlier parish finance statistics are available here.3 Comments
Everyone Counts is a diversity audit. A congregational survey was carried out in autumn 2014 in a sample of Church of England parishes with a particular focus on ethnicity, disability and locality. Background information is available here.
Key findings have now been published. Here are a few that I have picked at random.
If congregations in England were 100 people:
59 would be female
11 would be children aged 11 or younger
19 would be aged 76 or older
7 would be minority ethnic Anglicans
37 would have at least one health issue or disability (including 8 with mobility impairments and 3 with mental health conditions).
There are 6 adults in church to every 1 child or young person.
35% of churches are in rural hamlets and isolated areas, but only 1% of the population lives there.
There is a difference of about 18 years between the median age of minority ethnic and white British Anglicans (44 and 62 years).
The Church of England issued the following statement this evening (Friday 24 July):
Statement on ‘Everyone Counts’ survey
24 July 2015
In response to questions in correspondence and on social media over the choice of questions included in the “Everybody Counts” survey, Dr. Bev Botting, Head of Research and Statistics at the Archbishops Council said:
“The ‘Everybody Counts’ statistical exercise was carried out to build upon the Diversity Audit carried out in 2007. By carrying out further work in this area it was hoped to establish trends over time rather than one off snapshots of particular data.
The Diversity Audit originated from formal requests from members of CMEAC (The Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns) for a statistical picture of dioceses on ethnic diversity. In designing the latest survey our starting point was to replicate the 2007 data which did not include a question on sexual orientation. The national disability adviser for the Church had recognised that we did not have any information on people with disabilities which was why that added question appeared.
I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment raised by members of our congregations who feel that the lack of a question on sexual orientation meant that they are not a valued part of our church. I promise this was never the intention. I am entirely open to including additional questions in any further work.”
More information about Everyone Counts can be found at:
Cathedrals offer place of peace and prayer in busy lives, reveal new stats
24 November 2014
The number of people attending midweek services at cathedrals has doubled in the past 10 years, show new figures published today from the Church of England’s Research and Statistics department. One of the factors attributed is the need for a place of peace in increasingly busy lives.
Midweek attendance at cathedrals was 7,500 in 2003 rising to 15,000 in 2013 (compared to 12,400 in 2012). In a Church of England podcast published today the Dean of Lichfield, Adrian Dorber, said he has seen the need for people wanting a short snatch of peace midweek in what are now very pressurised lifestyles. “At the weekend you’ve got commitments with children doing sport, shopping, household maintenance – life’s run at the double these days and weekends are very pressurised and committed. Taking out half an hour or an hour every week is much more negotiable.”
Anecdote to Evidence research published earlier this year showed that that the highest motivating factors for Cathedral attendance were peace and contemplation, worship and music and friendly atmosphere.
The Dean of York Minster, Vivienne Faull, commented: “We do have the opportunity of allowing people to come in from the edges. If I take a eucharist at 12.30 in the middle of the week in the nave of York Minster there’ll be a lot of people who just slide in from the side. It’s not so much about anonymity, there’s the feeling there’s a journey you can travel which doesn’t require huge steps – it just requires one little step.”
Stephen Lake, Dean of Gloucester Cathedral, said: “Patterns of church attendance are different now. Cathedrals are uniquely placed to be providing greater opportunities for worship and that includes during the week.”
The Stats also show that attendance at Christmas cathedral services had increased rising from 117,200 in 2012 to 124,300 in 2013 with many cathedrals putting on new services.
New statistics for 2013 show average of one million people attend services each week
10 November 2014
New Church of England statistics for 2013 published today show that an average of one million people attend services each week, down about 1% on the previous year.
The one million figure relates to regular weekly parish and cathedral services and does not include other core services carried out by the Church of England on a regular basis. With some 2,000 baptisms, 1,000 weddings and 3,000 funerals conducted every week it is estimated that a further half a million people attend a service conducted by a Church of England minister every week. In addition the count (which takes place in October) does not include the many carol and nativity services during Advent and many other regular services responding to community need. The services carried out by the Church of England’s chaplains in hospitals, prisons, schools, universities and military bases are also excluded from the attendance totals. Figures for Christmas attendance show a stable trend, with 2.4 million people attending services on Christmas Eve and Day – where figures have hovered around the 2.5 million mark over the past decade.
Speaking on the publication of the statistics, the Bishop of Sheffield, The Rt. Revd. Steven Croft, said:
“These figures show the Church of England continues to serve the nation with a core of 1 million activist members who worship faithfully each week.
“At a time when membership of political parties is at an historic low and in a society which feels increasingly time squeezed, it is conspicuous that the Church of England’s committed weekly base of parish worshippers remains a million strong with the last Census showing many millions more identifying with the Church.
“In addition to the regular worshipping core the Church continues to serve all those who look to us to mark the most important events of their life journey through weddings, baptisms and funerals. Through these services alone we estimate that a further half a million people attend Church every week of the year, many of whom will be only fringe or occasional visitors.”
A new part of the 2013 research reveal that nearly half of the 67,000 new joiners to churches are coming for the first time rather than from another church. This was the first time a split was introduced in the joiners and leavers section to measure those moving to or from other local churches.
There was also new research on attendance at advent services including nativity and carol services – outside of usual Sunday services. Although not every church gave figures, attendance at special services during advent is estimated to be around 5 million.
A change in baptism trends shows that adult baptisms are on the increase over the past decade – from 8,000 per year to 11,000 per year, an increase of 32% over the last 10 years.
The statistics are available at:
Earlier statistics are available here.15 Comments
Our friends at Anglicans Online have drawn our attention to this survey that the Church of England is about to carry out in a representative sample of parishes.
Everyone Counts is a congregational survey with a focus on diversity. In October around one in six churches will take part in the survey, answering a few simple but important questions about how they identify and their connection to the church.
Currently, volunteers across the dioceses are getting ready for the survey. This page provides additional information for the churches and coordinators involved. Later we will post updates on the project, additional materials and interim findings.
These papers are available.
Celebrating Diversity in the Church of England [a background paper presented to the Archbishops’ Council]8 Comments