Church attendance 'steady and rising'

Church Times reports on a new survey

The Church Times this week reports on research that shows church attendance has stopped falling and is even rising.  The survey, by Christian Research, showed that 1.67 million people attended Church of England services each week in 2008  (down only slightly from 1.71 million in 2001) and 918,844 people attended Roman Catholic mass compared to 915,556 in 2007.  There was also a slight increase in attendance at Baptist Churches between 2002 and 2008.  The research appears to be a compilation of data from various sources.  It doesn't include data from new types of church.

The large numbers of people attending the Papal services this weekend at the end of the Pope's state visit demonstrates too that faith plays a major and active part in many peoples' lives.  The wider political point is that whatever our standpoint on faith, this is a fact and nothing is gained from trying to suppress faith from the public square.  The challenge remains how to engage.

Stephen Beer, 19/09/2010

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