From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Statistics Show Great Movement in Britian's Churches

Date 06 May 1996 06:14:25

Canon James M. Rosenthal, Director of Communications
Anglican Communion News Service
157 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UT, England
Tel. 44 0171 620-1110
Fax 44 0171 620-1071

#756 ACC - 2 November 1995 

Statistics Show Great Movement in Churches

(ENI - Ecumenical News International) A leading religious research
organisation claims that an average of 200 new members join
Britain's Churches every day.

However, according to Christian Research, which has just published
the 1995 edition of its United Kingdom Christian Handbook, another
200 people leave the Church every day, and another 200 Church
members die each day.

The release of the figures has prompted soul-searching in British
Churches and in the religious press about church attendance and
membership statistics.

Overall, the UK Christian Handbook reports, Church membership over
the past four years has declined 5 per cent. However some Churches,
notably Charismatic, Pentecostal and Orthodox Churches, are making
overall progress in membership.

Both the Church of England and the Evangelical Alliance, an
interdenominational organisation, were optimistic about the figures.

A spokesperson for the Evangelical Alliance told the Church of
England Newspaper: "It is no coincidence that the majority of
growing Churches are evangelical. They are at the forefront of
presenting the age-old message through such means as youth services,
modern worship songs, and in using contemporary translations of the

Anglican sources pointed out that almost 30 per cent of babies born
in the United Kingdom were baptised in an Anglican Church and more
than 25 million people living in the UK had been baptised as
Anglicans. About 900 000 people regularly attend an Anglican Church
in the UK and 1.4 million people are on the electoral roll of the
Church of England.

The Catholic Herald, published in London, reported that the Roman
Catholic Church still remained "the biggest single denomination" in
the UK, despite figures in the new UK Christian Handbook showing
that attendance at Mass in the UK had fallen by nine per cent over
the past four years. Almost 1.25 million Roman Catholics attended
Mass weekly in 1994.

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