Church of England's weekly attendance falls below 1 million [CC]


Less than 2% of the English population now worships in an Anglican church on the average Sunday, according to statistics released by the Church of England on January 12.“On …



As I recall, the same applies to the Catholic Church in the UK. The only denominations that have grown over the last few decades are the Orthodox (mainly due to immigration) and Pentocostal (a strand of Protestantism).


Actually I believe Catholicism has grown in England- also mostly due to immigration. From what I’ve read there are now more Catholics in England than Anglicans- for the first time since the Reformation.


if this is true-it is good news. so what would the new archbishop think if the CoE has adopted all these liberal ways and now numbrrs are dwindling?


What is Church of England? Is that another breakaway arm of the Anglican Church?


Not quite. Catholic mass attendance (which of course is mandatory for us) has always been higher than that of the Cof,E but there are still more members of the CofE. Catholic attendance had been actually declining much faster and 10 years ago it looked like it would dip below that of the CofE but recently has risen slightly due in part to migration from Eastern Europe.


In common with all western churches numbers have been dwindling since 1963, but the fastest rates of decline were in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In fact the recent decline at 1% a year since the mid 1990s means the rate of decline is now slower than most other western churches, especially TEC.


The Church of England is the Anglican communion. This is the church begun by King Henry VIII. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the flock, but not like the Pope. The Episcopal church is the American counterpart.


There are more practising Catholics than Anglicans, there are still vastly more nominal Anglicans and Catholics still make up at best around 10 percent of the population of the UK. A large percentage of the UK’s population are apathetic about any form of religion and if you ask people here about it they will laugh at religion in general. However religion is one of those subjects you don’t discuss in British daily life, it’s considered bad taste to do so. If you know someone well enough to do so though here is a sample of three reasonably young people’s response from former colleagues:-

‘It’s all a joke, just clowns parading around in dresses’

‘Just a way to get their hands in your pockets and get your money’

‘When we’re dead we all go to the same place. In a box or in an urn. Belief in the afterlife is for naive fools’.

Those are summaries of three actual responses people I worked with and knew well enough to broach the subject have given regarding religion and specifically regarding Christianity. Believe me the situation is no better in Ireland where I come from and from people under 35 I have heard some appalling remarks about religion in general.


You come from Australia but don’t know what the Church of England is? Fair suck of the sav m8


The CofE have offered a watered down liberal PC version of Christianity. I think they would rather get a few likes on twitter than actually speaking the truth of the word. Sadly i think the current Pope has the same mind set.


The remarks above are indeed symptomatic of the prevailing climate in the UK regarding religiosity, although I would have one qualm about your last reported statement:

Organised religion is distrusted and even resented by a large number of people but an equal number are not flat-out atheists. They just don’t seem to care about religion or more philosophical concerns about life in general.

I’ve spoken to more than a few who believe organised religion is a “big con” but who are open to a vague “spirituality” and “afterlife”. You’d be surprised how superstitious the general population is. Just look at all the crazy ghost stories, horoscopes and psychic mumbo featured in the Daily Mail.

Flat-out atheism is visible, certainly, but I do doubt that the majority of people are as convinced regarding mortalism as your third friend. How else do we account for all the superstitious nonsense?

None-ism and irreligion seems to be the overriding consensus.


I should also note that when I was younger (and I say this with some shame), I used to hide the fact that I was religious. None of my friends ever ‘suspected’ me in the slightest. There was even a quiz once in which I was voted one of the least religious people in the wider group :o

As I’ve matured, I have learned to become clear about my beliefs if asked but the situation rarely arises. Socially speaking, it would be suicide in many circles (including my own youth) to advent to religiosity in the teens and early twenties.

So even those who are religious or moderately so probably deny it, like I once did, to “fit in”. Only in a census will they be upfront about their beliefs.

Such is the way of things here. I remember the big hooha last year when the Liberal Democrats elected Tim Farron as their leader. He is an Evangelical Christian and was treated like an alien by the press.

The present government, as part of its “British values” project, has been more vocal than most in expressing its supposed allegiance to Christianity but I’m not sure how this washes, if at all, with voters.


Here’s an example of what I meant earlier:

**Post-religion poll finds most 'have spiritual belief

Despite the falling popularity of organised religion, most people in the UK still believe in the power of spiritual forces, research suggests.**

A study for the Christian think tank Theos recorded 77% as believing some things could not be explained by science or any other means.

Among the other findings, 8% said they or someone they knew had experienced a miracle, while one in four expressed a belief in angels.

**ComRes surveyed just over 2,000 people.

“The study appears to confirm that, despite a steady decline in congregations and in formal religious belief, a sense of the spiritual remains strong in Britain,” said the BBC’s religious affairs correspondent Robert Pigott.**

This fits with the non-religious folk I know. Only one is a convinced atheist. The rest are sort of apathetic, wishy-washy ‘nones’ with a grudge against organised religion.

I’ve met few convinced atheists. It seems to be organised religion that gets the flack, not so much belief in something mysterious, supernatural, non-materialist - a vague sense not given much thought and certainly not practised, but not convinced atheism by any account.


Nope never heard of it. Never seen a Church of England “church”. Anglican Churches on the other hand are a dime a dozen.


Thank you. I have never heard of Anglican Churches referred to as Church of England. Never seen a church with the sign “Church of England” on the signpost.


Have you noticed that the churches claiming to accept everyone end up attracting almost no one?

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.

Matthew 7:13-14


maybe because most people know the Anglican communion was created in the Church of England? I would think being from Australia you would know that. :confused:


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