British Religion in Numbers covers historical as well as contemporary data, so from time to time our news section will feature sources which are mainly of historical interest.
One such is Digest of Welsh Historical Statistics, 1700-1974: Religion, which has been abstracted from the two-volume Digest of Welsh Historical Statistics compiled by John Williams and published by the Welsh Office in 1985.
These historical data on Welsh religion, collated from a wide variety of primary publications and principally relating to places of worship, clergy, membership, Sunday scholars and rites of passage, are freely available online from two sources.
First, Excel versions of the 13 original tables may be downloaded from:
Second, a computer file of the tables has been created by the Statistical Directorate of the National Assembly for Wales, the History Data Service (University of Essex) and the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis at Queen’s University Belfast.
This has been deposited at the UK Data Archive as SN 4105 and, together with study documentation in English and Welsh, may be accessed via the following link:
Regrettably, religious data were not included in the parallel printed publications for Britain, Abstract of British Historical Statistics (1962), Second Abstract of British Historical Statistics (1971) and British Historical Statistics (1988).
However, many religious statistics were collated by Robert Currie, Alan Gilbert and Lee Horsley for their Churches and Churchgoers (1977), and British Religion in Numbers has obtained permission to reproduce their tables (to 1970) on our website. They will be made available here in due course.