Church attendance among children has dropped to just 20 per cent, research from the Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) has found.
A survey carried out by the FIEC revealed that while children made up 32 per cent of the total congregation in FIEC churches in 1980, this has dropped to just 20 per cent at the end of 2015.
According to the figures, this means that just 9000 children attend FIEC churches nationally. With 557 member churches, this works out at an average of 16.5 children in each church, which could represent just four or five families.
The data revealed that more than 46,000 people in total attended FIEC churches in Great Britain, with 40,000 people attending activities and outreach events each week.
However, although churches seemed to be seeing more people, many were attending less often, with a fifth of those 46,000 defined as attending church at least once a month.
There was encouragement however. About 800 baptisms took place across FIEC’s churches in the previous 12 months, the equivalent of 16 a week.
Operations director Andrew Nicholson, who managed the survey, said: ‘The figure of 800 baptisms across our 557 churches was really encouraging. As the vast majority of FIEC churches practice believers’ baptism, this is a wonderful picture of people becoming Christians in God’s goodness’.
The data survey was carried out in 2015 and asked churches about many aspects of church life and witness, including regular services, outreach activities and membership numbers. According to Mr Nicholson, 84 per cent of FIEC churches responded to the survey.