Church of England Affiliation Hits Record Low
However the 2017 Christmas service was the most attended event in 10 years.
When it came to attendance at the Sunday services held by Church of England, 2017 was no different than other years. Last year the Church of England clocked an attendance of 722,000 people. 18,000 fewer compared to 2016. This is in line with a trend observed over the recent decades.
Church of England Affiliation Hits Record Low[/tweetthis]
The statistics are in accordance with fewer individuals identifying with the Church of England or any other kind of organized religion. The NatCen British Social Attitudes survey in September revealed that affiliation with the Church of England is at a record low[/tweetthis], only 14 percent. Among young adults, the numbers fall to a meager two percent. Over half of the population said they did not follow religion.
Curiously, attendance during Christmas services the same year was 2.68 million, the highest in the last 10 years. It is clear those who join in regard the event as a kind of festivity and not standard religious worship. The 2017 figures were a little more than the 2016 numbers.
According to the annual statistics published by Church of England, it is clear there is a decline in the church population for important events in a person's life. The C of E conducted approximately 106,000 baptisms and Thanksgiving services for new children in 2017. This is fewer than the 120,000 in 2016. The number of marriages inside the church premises has fallen, with 41,000 marriages being registered inside the church in 2017. It was 45,000 in 2016. The same can be said with funerals, with the church in 2017 presiding over 130,000 last rites compared to 139,000 in 2016.
Not all is bleak. As per the C of E, the worshiping community, meaning people who attend services regularly and not only on Sundays, went up a little in 2017, to touch 1.14 million people. 20 percent were below 18 years of age. This can be due to the C of E's encouragement to parishes all over the country to create alternate worship service schedules to accommodate those who cannot attend during regular times.
Bishop of London Sarah Mullally pointed out; this is the age of quick social change which affects all the aspects of life, from the working pattern of people to their activities during weekends. The modern church is responding and evolving to stay relevant in such a world.