Missing Generation Research in the Methodist Church

The Methodist Church has announced a twelve-month ‘Missing Generation Research’ project, to be led by Trevor Durston and Liz Clutterbuck. It will focus on Generations X and Y, adults in their twenties and thirties who are largely absent from the pews.

The project has two principal aims:

  • ‘to establish what can be learnt from Methodist congregations that have a relatively smooth demographic profile over the full age range, and from this to provide guidance for other churches in their mission to the whole of society’
  • ‘to explore the attitudes of the 25-40 age group towards the Methodist Church a) from practising Methodists and b) from Christians who have previously worshipped in a Methodist context’

A combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques will be employed, including (possibly) an online questionnaire. There will be a pilot phase. Findings will be reported to the annual Conference of the Methodist Church in summer 2011.

Additional detail may be found at:


The 2005 English church census revealed that only 12% of Methodist worshippers were aged 20-44, compared with 23% for all denominations combined. A further 16% of churchgoing Methodists were under 20 and 72% aged 45 and over.

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One Response to Missing Generation Research in the Methodist Church

  1. Clive Field says:

    The final report on this Missing Generation research was published in June 2011. The quantitative component is relatively limited, doubtless reflecting the fact that there were less than 250 responses to an online questionnaire from adults aged 25-40 who had at some point attended a Methodist church on a regular basis. The report is available at:


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