The Church of England published two new sets of statistics on 22 January.
The first were its provisional statistics for mission in 2008, covering baptisms (infant, child and adult), thanksgivings (infant and child), confirmations, marriages and blessings, funerals, Easter and Christmas communicants and all age attendance, typical monthly church attendance (adult and children/young people) and electoral roll membership. Trend data are provided back to 2002. Weekly church attendance and electoral roll statistics are disaggregated by diocese. All these data may be found at:
An accompanying press release leads on the attendance figures, which show that 1,700,000 people attend Church of England services each month and 1,100,000 each week, either on Sunday or on a weekday. Total attendances in an average week were down 1 per cent on 2007, although there was a 3 per cent increase in the under-16s. Churchgoing grew in 14 of the 44 dioceses. Commenting on the results, Rev Lynda Barley (the Church’s Head of Research and Statistics) contextualized the data within declining participation in all organizations, noting especially the fall in membership of political parties. The press release is available at:
The second set of statistics is contained in a report entitled Celebrating Diversity in the Church of England, which is on the agenda for next month’s meeting of the Church’s General Synod. This is based on a gender, age and ethnic diversity audit of a cross-section (one in eight parishes) of the Church’s adult congregations undertaken in September-December 2007, in response to the 2003 report, Called to Act Justly. It follows a comparable survey of clergy diversity in 2005. The proportion of ethnic minority worshippers was 5 per cent, with 65 per cent women and 69 per cent aged 55 and over. The full report is published at: