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
Record amount from parishes to fund ministry and mission, show 2012 stats
14 August 2014
Parishes across the country raised a record amount of £929 million in 2012 to fund the ministry and mission of the Church of England across the country according to statistics published today. Parishes raised these funds from a combination of investments, legacies and donations despite the reduced gift aid rates*. The figure represents a modest increase on £916m in 2011.
In addition to funding the work of the Church at a parish, diocesan and national level, Parish Churches also continued to give generously to other organisations donating more than £46m to other charitable organisations, exceeding the £43.3m raised by Children in Need.
The statistics also show that after three years of deficits, parishes have successfully reduced their expenditure and encouraged more giving, to reach a break-even point in 2012. After adjusting for inflation, the data show that expenditure increased between 2002 and 2009 but has been steadily declining since.
Dr John Preston, the Church of England’s national stewardship adviser said: “The 2012 figures show the Church’s continued commitment to give generously despite the economic environment. It is a real testimony to the generosity of people in the pews that despite the reduced gift aid rates they have raised the largest ever amount of money to support the ministry and mission of the church. The Christian principle of stewardship is clearly alive and well.”
The information in the Finance Stats document is collated from the annual parish returns (excluding the Diocese in Europe).
For further Church of England statistics see https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/facts-stats/research-statistics.aspx.
Church annual statistics for 2012: Almost 1,000 Occasional Services each day of the week and no significant change in attendance over past decade
The Church of England today released its annual statistics for 2012.
Overall in 2012, on average 1.05m people attended Church of England churches each week showing no significant change over the past decade. Figures for all age average weekly attendance show around 1 in 5 churches growing, and just over this number declining with 57% remaining stable.
In 2012 the Church of England conducted over 356,000 services of baptism, wedding and funerals at an average of about 6,700 each week – almost 1,000 per day – marking the rites of passage in people’s lives in communities across the country. Last year the Church of England baptised almost 140,000 people (2,700 per week), performing around 56,000 marriages in (1000 per week) and conducted 160,000 funerals (3,000 per week).
Christmas and Easter services continue to attract higher numbers with services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day attracting around 2.5m people and services at Easter attracting 1.4m people.
The 2012 statistics also suggest that around 38,000 people who had not previously attended church were welcomed in to a worshipping community in 2013, compared to just over 19,000 who died or who left due or illness. Nearly 23,000 joined a church due to moving into an area compared to 18,500 leaving because they moved away.
The 2012 figures also show that more than 100,000 young people aged 11 to 25 attended activities connected to the Church in 2012. Around 28,000 adults work voluntarily with young people aged 11-17 and around 2,000 are employed to do.
Dr Bev Botting, Head of Research and Statistics for the Archbishops’ Council said: “These statistics for 2012 show that weekly attendance over the past decade has not changed significantly. The introduction of cleaner data and more rigorous methodological approaches and analysis means these figures provide a clearer picture of Anglican churchgoing in the decade to 2012.”
Two articles in the Church Times by Linda Woodhead are now available to non-subscribers.
THE Church of England’s mission strategies and investment of energy assume that churches and churchgoers are its main resources. But a significant new survey offers a broader answer. It suggests that non-churchgoing Anglicans may be much more important to the Church and its future than the dismissive word “nominals” implies…
…The results suggest that people who identify themselves as Anglican (“Church of England” was not given as an option) make up one third of the adult population of Great Britain. Adherents of all the other religions and Christian denominations added together constitute the next third, and those who say that they have “no religion” are the final slice of the pie.
THE most obvious division within the Anglicans as a whole is between those who say that they participate in a church or Christian group, and those who say that they do not. This gives us robust categories of churchgoers and non-churchgoers, placing those who attend occasional events, such as a wedding or a carol service, on the non-churchgoing side of the line. This non-churchgoing constituency represents 83 per cent of Anglicans, which dwarfs the 17 per cent who go to church.
This might, however, not be bad news for the Church. It is easy to assume that the churchgoers are the “real Anglicans”, and the non-churchgoers are backsliders whose diluted faith is one step away from atheism. The survey reveals something more interesting. Many of the “nominals” are more than purely nominal. Many believe and practise in similar ways to churchgoers – who are themselves not a homogenous group…
More recently, last month, the second article appeared, titled: A gap is growing within the Church. The second article concludes as follows:
…OVERALL, then, if we put together the results of both surveys, a general portrait of Anglicans emerges. They tend to be tough-minded rather than tender-hearted, and they place high value on individual responsibility. They think that people should stand on their own two feet, and be free to make their own mistakes. They believe that less should be spent on welfare, and that the current system needs reform. They value tradition and a common national culture, which they feel to be under threat.
When asked what they value about the Church of England, their favoured response is: “It is integral to English culture,” although churchgoers are slightly more likely to say “it brings people closer to God.”
They look back to a past that they imagine to have been less selfish, better disciplined, and bound by common values – but they have nevertheless embraced changes that have made society fairer to women and gay people.
In short, Anglicans have a good deal in common with the Government. They are in line with The Guardian on personal issues, but the Telegraph or even the Mail on wider social and economic matters.
The gap between this set of values, and those supported by the Church, especially as it is represented by bishops and archbishops, the General Synod, church policy, and official statements – hence what is reported in the media – is wide. In a striking inversion, official church teaching is welfarist-paternalist on social and economic issues, and authoritarian-paternalist on personal ethics. It is the mirror image of majority Anglican opinion.
There is also a values gap between the Church and wider society – a gap that widens as you go down the age range. Young people tend to be centrist in their socio-political views, and highly liberal and egalitarian in their views on personal morality. We already knew that disaffiliation from the Church of England has increased with every generation, but our polling points to an important reason for this.
When asked whether they think the Church of England is a negative or positive force in society today, 60 per cent of under-25s say “neither”, or “don’t know”; and 21 per cent say “negative”. When the “negatives” are asked their reasons, the answer they greatly favour is: “The Church of England is too prejudiced – it discriminates against women and gay people.”
It is foolish for any Church to think that in order to survive it has to follow public opinion, or even the opinion of its own members, affiliates, and sympathisers. But when it is significantly out of step with all of these, questions need to be asked.
The questions are more pressing for a body that wants to remain a national Church with wide social influence rather than a counter-cultural sect. My own suspicion is that church leaders are not being wilfully oppositional. They simply do not have the historic mindset, organisational structures, or investment in research that would enable them to maintain responsive contact even with their own grassroots.
Bishops’ Office and Working Costs Published
The 2012 office and working costs of bishops in the Church of England are published today. Figures for individual bishops were first published, for the year 2000, in December 2001.
The costs of their offices and the work of the bishops for 2012 was £20.0 million compared to a cost of £19.5 million in 2011, an annual increase of 2.5%.
This figure includes the work of the two Archbishops and the 113 bishops in the Church of England – 44 diocesan (leading) bishops and 69 suffragan (deputy) and fulltime assistant bishops, including area bishops and provincial episcopal visitors.
Included within the 2012 figure is approximately £2.8 million for legal costs during the year. House running costs for all bishops as a total was just over 750,000.
An annual block grant is made by the Church Commissioners to diocesan bishops to cover the bishops’ stipends, staff and working costs. The bishops determine how their funding is used. The Commissioners’ Board of Governors agreed to increase funding for the Archbishops by 2 per cent and for the bishops by 4 per cent, year on year for the 2011-2013 triennium.
Bishops’ office and working costs for the year ended 31 December 2012 are published on the Church of England website at:
The media have been sent this additional Note to Editors.
Costs for earlier years are available here.17 Comments
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
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.26 Comments
Completed in June by 4,018 people, the YouGov survey for the Westminster Faith Debates offers little comfort for either those who defend or those who oppose faith schools. It shows that:
There is a great deal more information in the press release about specific questions that were asked.
The full survey results from YouGov are available here.
There was also an appendix to the press release as received by email, which is not included elsewhere but which is reproduced below the fold.
BRIN has now posted on this survey and their summary of key points is:
We reported previously on this major survey here.
British Religion in Numbers has now published its analysis at British Social Attitudes Survey, 2012.
In addition to discussion of the specifically religious questions asked, BRIN notes that
responses to all questions in the survey can be quickly analysed by religion, through the BSA Information System website at http://www.britsocat.com (prior registration is required)
And BRIN reports the following example analysis, taken from the chapter on personal relationships in the survey report:
The annual British Social Attitudes Report has been published. You can find the key findings, the whole report, and related materials at this website.
Media reports on this:
John Bingham at the Telegraph has Marriage ‘no longer the foundation stone of family life’ and Revolution in attitudes to homosexuality is biggest change in generation
The Guardian has
Britons more liberal, cynical and individual than 30 years ago, says survey
Changing British attitudes: rise in support for benefits since last year
Changing British attitudes: can you guess them?
Changing British attitudes: press and politicians out, royal family in
The Conversation has this: British social attitudes report finds trust is in freefall and specifically mentions the Church of England:
…Over the past 30 years, the hold of that the country’s religious institutions have on the British public has similarly weakened. In 1983, 69% classified themselves as “belonging to a religion”, whereas in 2012 this figure was 52%.
This fall was not spread over all religions, however. The drop is driven by the declining popularity of the Church of England. Those who affiliate themselves with the Anglican Church has dropped from 40% to 20% in the same period.
Linda Woodhead, Director of Religion and Society at the University of Lancaster, said, “11% of 20 year olds identify themselves as Anglican, compared to 50% of over 60s”. The Church of England, like political parties, is failing to retain or attract young people.
However, the drops in these figures do not signal a correlative increase in levels of atheism. “In fact, levels of atheism have not grown a great deal in the past 30 years, and stand at under 20%” Woodhead explained. “People are just less likely to associate with, or relate to, a particular religion.”
The Church Times has Christians more liberal, survey finds.
…The survey suggests that Christians have also become more accepting of pre-marital sex over the past 30 years. In 1983, for instance, 31 per cent of Anglicans who were surveyed said that pre-marital sex was “always” or “mostly” wrong; in 2012, only ten per cent thought this.
When first asked, in 1989, whether “people who want children ought to get married”, 71 per cent of all those surveyed agreed, and 17 per cent disagreed. By 2012, the proportion agreeing had dropped to 42 per cent, and the proportion of those disagreeing had risen to 34 per cent.
In 1989, more than three-quarters of Anglicans surveyed (78 per cent) thought that people should marry before having children. In 2012, just over half of Anglicans (54 per cent) thought this. Roman Catholics have become even more accepting of having children outside of wedlock: in 1989, 73 per cent thought people should marry before having children; in 2012, just 43 per cent thought this…
The Church of England has released Cathedral Statistics 2012 today and this press release.
Growing decade for cathedral congregations, show latest stats
The number of worshippers at Church of England cathedrals increased in 2012, continuing the growing trend seen since the Millennium. Total weekly attendance at the 43* cathedrals grew to 35,800, according to Cathedral Statistics 2012, an increase of 35% since 2002.
Along with occasional and special services, the regular worshipping life of cathedrals has proved more popular than ever over the past decade with cathedrals pointing to stronger community links attracting more people (see case studies below).
Easter 2012 saw the highest attendance in the last decade, at 54,700. Attendance at midweek services has grown most, from 8,900 in 2002 to 16,800, while Sunday attendance has grown from 17,500 to 19,100.
The numbers of children and young people attending educational events is the highest for 10 years (306,800 in 2012 compared to 265,100 in 2002).
The number of volunteers serving cathedrals continued to rise, reaching 15,570, 30% up on the 11,930 in 2002. Between them, they fulfil a range of 860 voluntary roles across the country.
Other regular services, run at least once a month, attracted a further 1,639,300 worshippers. Around one million attended more than 5000 public/civil events in the cathedrals, down from a peak in 2010 but still nearly twice as many as in 2002. 2,900 specially arranged services, such as annual festivals and school leavers’ services attracted a further 930,000.
Dr Bev Botting, Head of Research and Statistics for the Archbishops’ Council said: “Cathedrals continue to flourish as worshipping communities while offering a valuable insight into our nation’s heritage. The statistics show people of all ages are increasingly drawn to cathedrals for worship, to attend educational and civic events, and to volunteer to ensure our cathedrals are open to all those who are drawn to visit and worship in these wonderful buildings”
*There are 43 cathedrals in the Church of England, 44 including the Cathedral Church of Holy Trinity, Gibraltar in the Diocese in Europe
There are three case studies below the fold.20 Comments
Financial Statistics 2011
01 July 2013
Parish incomes continue to increase, passing £900 million for first time at £916 million, up £20 million on 2010, according to the latest parish finance statistics published by the Church of England. Income from giving in 2011 increased by 1.3% to £546 million, with planned giving exceeding £10 per subscriber each week for the first time and tax-efficient giving reaching £10.70 a week. At £46.40 a month, this is more than double the average donation to the charitable sector of £17.00 a month.
Dr John Preston, National Stewardship Officer, said, “2011 saw another year of increased parish incomes and giving, in large part due to the faith and commitment of regular givers. Although overall growth in income was lower than inflation, it is encouraging to note that the average weekly gift from our planned givers has risen by a further 3%.”
Other figures showing improvement include income from parish investments, up 7% as markets improved, and income from trading, such as book stalls, parish magazines and church halls, up 6%.
Investment in church buildings, for maintenance and improvements to facilities for community use, topped £200 million for first time, in 2011. Parishes made significant donations to mission organisations and other charities, totalling £49 million in 2011.
While inflation has reduced the value of giving, parish efforts to control costs reduced a deficit of £21m in 2010, after the recession, to £13 million in 2011. Deficits were met from parish reserves.
Churchgoers in Birmingham Diocese gave the highest proportion of their weekly income to their churches at 3.0% (5.7% among tax-efficient givers) against a national average of 2.0% (3.3% among tax-efficient givers).
Average weekly tax-efficient giving in dioceses ranged from £6.40 to £20.20; while weekly giving per electoral roll member ranged from £4.10 to £9.40.
British Religion In Numbers reports on 2011 Census Detailed Characteristics for England and Wales:
On 16 May 2013 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first outputs from the third wave of results (Release 3.1) from the 2011 census of population of England and Wales. They comprised detailed characteristics for local authorities in terms of cross tabulations for the questions on ethnicity, national identity, country of birth, main language, proficiency in English, religion, provision of unpaid care, and health. The full tables can be consulted at: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/census/2011/detailed_characteristics
The BRIN article linked above contains a helpful summary.
There is a Statistical Bulletin here, and there is a shorter paper: What does the Census tell us about religion in 2011?
And David Voas has published Religious Census 2011 – What happened to the Christians? (Part II)
The Census detailed characteristics on religion for Northern Ireland were also published on 16 May and can be viewed here.
There is a press release: Census 2011: Detailed Characteristics for Northern Ireland on Health, Religion and National Identity and a Media briefing.0 Comments
Updated Tuesday night
There are several reports in this morning’s national press.
Sam Jones in The Guardian Church of England reports rise in Christmas worship
BBC Church of England attendances ‘stabilising’
Huffington Post UK Church Of England Christmas Attendance Up But It’s Not Good News For Archbishop Of Canterbury
Steve Doughty in the Mail Online Hark! The flock’s back: Church attendances up… but it’s only at Christmas
Archbishop Cranmer comments in his blog: CofE annual statistics 2011 – good news and bad
Several local papers and websites report on their local figures, for example:
The Northern Echo Church attendance down by 8 per cent in Durham diocese but up by 7.4 per cent in Ripon and Leeds
Network Norwich and Norfolk Norwich fights back on ‘Most Godless City’ tag
Portsmouth News Church figures show decline in Portsmouth attendance
Statistics for earlier years can be found here.
Clive Field of British Religion in Numbers has a more balanced analysis: 2011 Anglican Statistics and Other News.
Andrew Brown looks at the figures for The Guardian: Anglican faith in church attendance is not enough.6 Comments
Updated Saturday evening
Yesterday’s Church Times has an article by Linda Woodhead about a survey that “suggests that non-churchgoing Anglicans may be much more important to the Church and its future than the dismissive word “nominals” implies.”
The article is only available to Church Times subscribers, but British Religion in Numbers (BRIN) has a summary in Profile of Anglicans and Other News. The survey shows that self-identifying Anglicans divide into four categories.
Godfearing Churchgoers (5% of Anglicans)
Mainstream Churchgoers (12% of Anglicans)
Non-Churchgoing Believers (50% of Anglicans)
Non-Churchgoing Doubters (33% of Anglicans)
The BRIN article also reports on surveys on St George’s Day and Student faith.
Jonathan Clatworthy has written about the survey of Anglicans for Modern Church: On not going to church.
Today the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published data from the 2011 census which includes results for England and Wales from the ‘What is your religion?’ question. David Pocklington for Law & Religion UK has this handy summary Religion in Great Britain, 2011 with links to the ONS data.
The Guardian publishes this data on its own website:
Census 2011 mapped and charted: England & Wales in religion, immigration and race
Census 2011: how many Jedi Knights are there in England & Wales?
The Church of England has issued a press release: Census 2011 – England remains a faithful nation.
For the Telegraph Damian Thompson writes that Christianity is fading away in Britain as Islam surges and agnosticism spreads whilst Cristina Odone says 2011 census shock revelation: Christianity is still the majority religion, and Britain is still a God-fearing country.
The BBC reports that Census shows rise in foreign-born, but the article also covers the figures for religion.
Robert Booth writes for The Guardian that Christians could be minority by 2018, census analysis reveals.3 Comments
British Religion in Numbers (BRIN) has a round up of some recent news stories about British religious statistics with summaries and links to the full data: Respect for Clergy and Other News. Stories included are:
Evangelicals and Money
“Evangelical Christians are not immune from the economic downturn…”
Respect for Clergy
“Ministers and priests enjoy a lower standing in Britain than in Canada or the United States…”
Current Issues in the Church of England
“…Anglican churchgoers rate the performance of Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury more highly than practising Christians as a whole…”
Pastoral Research Centre
“…an independent trust for applied socio-religious research, and focused primarily on the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales…”
“…significant numbers [of UK Christians] apparently hold ambivalent or contradictory positions…”
Heritage at Risk
“A higher proportion of England’s religious heritage assets appear to be at risk than is the case with any other type…”
These round-ups are a regular feature of BRIN.13 Comments
British Religion in Numbers has published statistics about Anglicans and Attitudes towards Gay Marriage.5 Comments
The Church of England has today published (5.6 MB pdf file) its latest information both about parish income and expenditure and about trends in ministry numbers in Church Statistics 2010/11.
The press release states that:
The attendance statistics included were published in January 2012. This year’s financial statistics show that parish giving remained resilient in 2010 despite the general economic situation. With investment income still at the reduced level experienced in recent years overall parish income was marginally ahead of the previous year.
The rest of the press release is copied below the fold.
Earlier statistics are available here.1 Comment
The Church of England has published the latest cathedral attendance statistics and this press release.
Cathedral attendance statistics enjoy over a decade of growth
03 April 2012
Attendance levels at regular weekly services in Church of England cathedrals have steadily increased by 30% since the turn of millennium, a growth of approximately 3% on average each year, according to the latest statistics, published today. In 2011, figures for ‘average normal midweek attendance’ were at their highest levels since records began in 2000 for both adults and children; the figure for Sunday attendance was up slightly, too, for adults.
There is more good news in the figures for Christmas and Easter attendance, both showing stability across the decade, with Christmas attendance up 17% in 2011 compared with 2010.
The statistics are published online here.
Dr Bev Botting, Head of Research and Statistics, said: “These figures demonstrate how cathedrals are very much a vibrant centre of spiritual life in our cathedral cities.”
The Very Revd Vivienne Faull, Dean of Leicester and chair of the Association of English Cathedrals, said: “Cathedrals are wonderful places in which to worship and fascinating places to visit – and all are invited to join us as we mark Holy Week and Easter with special services.”
The remainder of the press release, summarising the statistics, is below the fold.13 Comments