Attendance at regular Sunday or midweek services in England’s Anglican cathedrals (excluding Royal Peculiars such as Westminster Abbey) increased by 7% between 2009 and 2010, according to figures released by the Archbishops’ Council’s Research and Statistics Unit on 4 May.
The overall growth in cathedral congregations since the turn of the millennium has been 37%, representing an average of 4% each year, with midweek attendance alone more than doubling and now approaching the same level of Sunday worshippers (16,100 and 18,900 a week respectively).
However, cathedral congregations on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 2010 were 7% down on the 2009 figure, while total attendances during Advent were (at 682,400) the lowest since 2000. The adverse pre-Christmas weather was doubtless a major cause.
Easter Eve and Easter Day congregations were also 4% lower than in 2009, with the absolute figure (47,800) the smallest for a decade. Attendance throughout Holy Week was 110,400.
In addition to worship services, cathedrals hosted an ever increasing number of public and civic events, 5,250 in 2010 attended by 1,633,000 individuals, 80% more than in 2000.
General visitors to cathedrals, by contrast, have fallen by one-fifth over the decade, to stand at 9,423,000 in 2010. There was also a 3% dip since 2009 in the number of educational events at cathedrals and a 1% reduction in children present at them.
The Church of England data may be found at:
BRIN’s summary of the comparable statistics for 2009 is still available at: