There follow brief reports of three recent articles in academic journals. These are subscription-based, with free access only available to institutional and personal subscribers. A pay-per-view option is also offered via the relevant publisher websites.
Journal of Beliefs & Values, Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 89-92: Christopher Rutledge, ‘Looking behind the Anglican Statistic “Usual Sunday Attendance”: a Case Study’
Rutledge conducted two censuses, four years apart, of adult attendances at the main services in a suburban Anglican parish church, the first over four weeks and the second over five. He demonstrates that neither electoral roll membership nor planned financial giving is an accurate predictor of churchgoing.
Two-fifths of those on the electoral roll did not worship during the census periods, while there were numerous regular worshippers not on the roll. Likewise, many of those who supported the church through standing orders or weekly giving envelopes did not attend services during the census. Overall, usual Sunday attendance is shown to greatly underestimate the number of people engaged with the local church.
Journal of Empirical Theology, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 64-81: Lewis Burton, Leslie Francis and Mandy Robbins, ‘Psychological Type Profile of Methodist Circuit Ministers in Britain: Similarities to and Differences from Anglican Clergy’
Psychological type theory is used to profile similarities and differences between 1,004 Methodist ministers in England surveyed by Burton in 2004 and the 863 Church of England clergy profiled in an earlier study reported in Leslie Francis, Charlotte Craig, Michael Whinney, David Tilley and Paul Slater, ‘Psychological Typology of Anglican Clergy in England: Diversity, Strengths and Weaknesses in Ministry’, International Journal of Practical Theology, Vol. 11, 2007, pp. 266-84.
The two groups recorded similar profiles in many respects, especially when viewed against the profile of the UK population. However, male and female Methodist ministers were less likely to prefer intuition, and more likely to prefer sensing, compared to their Anglican colleagues. Also, male Methodist ministers were more likely to prefer feeling and less likely to prefer thinking in comparison with Anglican clergy.
The findings are interpreted to illuminate strengths and weaknesses in Methodist and Anglican ministry and to highlight areas of potential conflict, disagreement or misunderstanding in effecting cooperation between the two denominations.
British Journal of Religious Education, Vol. 32, No. 3, pp. 307-20: Mandy Robbins and Leslie Francis, ‘The Teenage Religion and Values Survey in England and Wales: an Overview’
The Teenage Religion and Values Survey is by far the largest study of religious and moral beliefs and behaviours of young people in this country yet to be completed. It was conducted by Leslie Francis and associates throughout the 1990s by means of self-completion questionnaires from 33,982 13- to 15-year-olds in years 9 and 10 of 163 schools in England and Wales.
The survey has already been widely reported in the academic literature (see the entry in the BRIN database at http://www.brin.ac.uk/sources/1780). The present article opens by reflecting on the methodology of the research as regards design, measurement and sampling. It then reviews some of the insights which it generated, especially in respect of personality, spiritual health, religious affiliation, belonging without believing, and church-leaving. The major published outputs from the survey are listed and discussed, and three lessons learned are spelled out.
The research group is currently devising a new study of similar scope for the first decades of the twenty-first century and is inviting collaborators to work with them.