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News – C of E vs RC

February 2008

C of E vs RC

Roman Catholics claim to have overtaken Anglicans as the UK’s dominant religious group, with more people attending mass every Sunday than worship with the Church of England.

A survey of 37,000 churches shows the number of people going to Sunday mass in England last year averaged 861,000, compared with 852,000 Anglicans.

The statistics suggest that attendance at Anglican Sunday services has dropped by 20% since 2000. During the same period there has been a dramatic influx of Roman Catholic immigrants from eastern Europe and Africa, many of whom have attached themselves to Catholic parishes. In particular the expansion of the European Union in 2004 resulted in the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Poles and Lithuanians, many of whom are Catholics.

Until recently the Catholic Church had been losing worshippers from its congregations. Attendance at mass in 1991 was recorded as 1.3 million, a drop of 40% since 1963.

According to other figures from Christian Research, Pentecostal churches have surpassed the Methodist Church as the country’s third largest Christian denomination.

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