Thinking Anglicans

Cathedral Statistics 2022

The Church of England has published its Cathedral Statistics 2022 and an accompanying press release, which is copied below.

Cathedral attendance continued post pandemic bounce back, 2022 figures show

Attendance at Church of England cathedrals continued to bounce back following the pandemic, new statistics for 2022 published today show.

Figures show that adult usual Sunday attendance rose 60% between 2021 and 2022 for the 42 Church of England mainland Cathedrals to 12,300 adults. A total of 28,200 people including children attended services every week, according to Cathedral Statistics 2022.

Over the year there were 584,000 attendances at specially arranged services – not included in average weekly attendance –  such as school services. The number of special services stood at 2,100. The total reported attendance at Christmas services stood at 104,000.

However the figures had not yet reached pre pandemic levels of attendance.

The number of girl choristers in Cathedrals stood at its highest total in 2022 at 790, out of 1,500 child choristers. The number of Cathedral choirs stood at 165, also the highest number reported.

Cathedrals hosted 530 graduation ceremonies in 2022 with 434,000 people attending – the highest numbers ever reported.  There were more marriage services in Cathedrals in 2022 (290) than in 2019 (270).  Both the graduation and marriage figures reflect efforts that have been made, where possible, to catch up after the lifting of Covid restrictions.

These 2022 figures have been published following a survey by The Times of 30 Church of England Cathedrals that found congregations at Christmas (2023) for many, were higher than pre-pandemic levels.

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Oliver Miller
Oliver Miller
4 months ago

It took 13 months to produce those statistics.

That fact tells us everything.

David Goodhew
David Goodhew
3 months ago

This announcement is true, but not the whole truth. The rise from 2021 to 2022 is welcome, but the key comparison is between 2022 and 2019 (the year before the pandemic). By that measure, Cathedral Sunday attendance is down by 20% for adults and 28% for children. This means cathedrals have performed similarly to parish churches in terms of adults, but worse in terms of children.

Ken Eames
3 months ago

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome. There are contact details in the report, or I’m happy to chat here, at Synod, or anywhere else that suits. Eagle-eyed readers might spot a few changes to the report, some of which are the result of suggestions made on this web site a year ago – I take feedback seriously, even if I can’t do all of the things that people would like me to do. I agree with David’s comment: the comparison with 2019 is important too, which is why I included it (Table 1, p6; it’s as close as I… Read more »

Reply to  Ken Eames
3 months ago

Ken, thank you for another measured and tolerant response to some scratchy comments. I read what you report with interest and value your marshalled information which is always relevant, though not always encouraging.

T Pott
T Pott
3 months ago

It is said that attendance at Christmas 2023 was higher than pre-pandemic. Is this the result of Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday? I seem to remember a similar effect in 2017. Are Sunday morning congregations counted as Christmas? Does the lack of bustle on Christmas Eve improve later attendance? Re the observation that the number of choirgirls now exceeds the number of choirboys, many will be pleased to see this, but I wonder what are the long term consequences. I have heard it said that in some parish churches, when the girls joined the boys left, and when the… Read more »

Ken Eames
Reply to  T Pott
3 months ago

Thanks for the comments. The “day of the week” effect is plausible, I’d say, but hard to be sure about, given so many other factors might make a difference (the weather, what’s on offer in other churches, methods and effectiveness of publicising services, etc). But you’re right, for Church of England churches in general Christmas 2017 (the last time that Christmas Eve was on a Sunday) attendance was notably high; cathedral Christmas attendance was a little higher in 2017 than 2016 and 2018, but not particularly notably so (though that’s a matter of opinion, really!) – a few heavy snowfalls… Read more »

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