UK’s dwindling churchgoers
The decline of church attendance in Britain is highlighted in Religious Trends, an analysis published recently by Christian Research. The research group forecasts that regular churchgoing (attendance once per week) in Britain will have declined so much that around 4000 churches will close before 2020.
However, the Church of England has disputed its statistics. A spokesperson questioned the methodology of calculating active Anglican members by the number of adults on local, parish-based voting lists. She commented, ‘There are more than 1.7 million people worshipping in a Church of England church or cathedral each month, a figure that is 30% higher than the electoral roll figures and has remained stable since 2000’.
By 2050 there will be just 3600 churchgoing Methodists left in Britain, Christian Research predicts. Anglicans will be down to 87,800; Catholics to 101,700; Presbyterians to 4,400; Baptists to 123,000; and independents to 168,000. The figures take into account the recent boost to Catholicism from Polish immigrants to Britain, particularly in Scotland.