Collected: Other

Religious Statistics in Great Britain: An Historical Introduction


Article contents


1. Statistics Collected by the State

1.1         Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

1.2         Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

1.3         Recent Developments

Notes to Section 1

2. Statistics Collected by Faith Communities

2.1         Established Churches: Church of England

2.2         Established Churches: Wales and Scotland

2.3         Free Churches: General

2.4         Free Churches: Methodists

2.5         Free Churches: Baptists, Congregationalists and Quakers

2.6         Free Churches: Other Denominations

2.7         Roman Catholic Church: Before the Second World War

2.8         Roman Catholic Church: After the Second World War

2.9         Ecumenical Initiatives: National

2.10       Ecumenical Initiatives: International

2.11       Non-Christian Faiths: General

2.12       Non-Christian Faiths: Judaism

2.13       Irreligion

Notes to Section 2

3. Statistics Collected by Other Agencies

3.1         Social Investigators

3.2         Opinion Pollsters

3.3         Academic Researchers

3.4         Print and Broadcast Media

Notes to Section 3

4. Future Needs and Prospects for Religious Statistics

Notes to Section 4

Appendix 1

Select Bibliography of the Religious History of Modern Britain


Church of England

Free Churches

Roman Catholicism




New Religious Movements




Appendix 2

Recent Publications on the 1851 Religious Census of England and Wales

General Commentaries

Local Studies

Appendix 3

Contemporary Regional Studies of Religion as Social Capital in England and Wales

Appendix 4

Church of England Clergy Visitation Returns of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Primary Sources: Editions of Returns

Primary Sources: Editions of Specula

Secondary Sources: Visitation Process

Secondary Sources: Use of Returns

Appendix 5

Abraham Hume’s Contribution to Religious Statistics and Sociology

Appendix 6

Local Censuses of Church Attendance in Great Britain, 1881-82

Appendix 7

Newman Demographic Survey and Pastoral Research Centre

Appendix 8

John Highet’s Contribution to Scottish Religious Statistics 

Appendix 9

Local Censuses of Church Attendance in Great Britain, 1901-12



3. Statistics collected by other agencies

3.1 Social Investigators


The quantitative study of British society began in earnest with the work of John Graunt and William Petty in the 1660s, but it was not really until the 1830s that the attention of social investigators turned to religion. A major catalyst was the emergence in that decade of statistical societies in London, Manchester and other provincial cities, which brought together ministers of religion, professionals and other individuals interested in conducting empirical local research, including explorations of the interactions of religion, morality and education.[1]


During the 1830s and 1840s members of these societies carried out many community studies in various parts of the country, usually in working-class areas, gathering details on, among other topics, religious affiliation, church attendance, church sittings and the ownership of scriptures. Their reports were then read before the relevant society. Many of those given to the London Statistical Society were published in its Journal, but most of the Manchester ones were unpublished and, if extant, need to be consulted among the archives of the Manchester Statistical Society at the Manchester Central Library.[2]


During the third quarter of the nineteenth century the Journal of the Statistical Society of London carried a series of influential articles on national religious statistics. Examples, in addition to the essays by Fox (on the Quakers) and Lumley (on Roman Catholics), already noted above (in sections 2.5 and 2.7, respectively), included William Guy’s on the duration of life among the clergy,[3] and Herbert Skeats on Anglican and Nonconformist finance.[4] It was also fitting that Horace Mann gave an interpretation and defence of his 1851 religious census,[5] given that the Society’s census committee had supported the inclusion of a religion question (albeit one of profession rather than attendance) in the 1841, 1861 and 1871 censuses.


Thereafter, the Royal Statistical Society (as it was from 1887) has not really identified closely with religious matters. When, in the 1950s, it commissioned Maurice Kendall to edit a two-volume guide to United Kingdom statistics, a chapter on religion was conspicuous by its absence.[6] Fortunately, the deficiency was rectified by a volume in its successor series (jointly sponsored with the Economic and Social Research Council), Reviews of United Kingdom Statistical Sources, in 1987.[7]


Likewise, of the ‘big names’ in British empirical sociology of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, only Charles Booth and Seebohm Rowntree stand out as having a particular concern about religion. However, Booth’s Life and Labour of the People in London, Third Series, Religious Influences was purely qualitative.[8] In religious statistical terms, Rowntree’s three studies of York were mainly of interest for the series of church attendance censuses in 1901, 1935 and 1948.[9] Rowntree’s intended magnum opus on the spiritual life of Britain in the wake of the Second World War was never completed.[10] Other inter-war social investigations also dealt with religion almost solely in terms of churchgoing, examples including: Ipswich in 1923,[11] Wallsend and South Shields in 1928,[12] and Liverpool in 1930-31.[13]


Churchgoing was of equal fascination to Mass-Observation (M-O), the social research organization established by Charles Madge, Humphrey Jennings and Tom Harrisson in 1937, but their studies covered the full spectrum of religiosity, including alternative belief systems. Extensive recourse was made to participant observation, especially in the two principal field centres – the semi-suburban ‘ Metrop’ (Hammersmith) and ‘Worktown’ (Bolton, but extended to Blackpool during the summer). This technique essentially generated qualitative information, and any national figures derived for a long time from a self-selecting panel of observers, who responded to ‘directives’. It was recruited initially through the New Statesman, and was skewed towards men, the young, the South-East, the middle class and the politically left-leaning. M-O’s other religious statistical research during the Second World War was usually conducted in Metrop or Worktown, typically involving street interviews with 100 respondents.[14]


But M-O was also responsible for the first full-length quantitative British survey of the religion of ‘ordinary folk’. Funded by the Ethical Union and published (albeit incompletely) as Puzzled People in 1947, the fieldwork was actually conducted between October 1944 and January 1945 in Hammersmith, among a quota of 500 adults.[15] Unfortunately, the promised summative book on all M-O’s other religious research never materialized, although some insights can be gained from sections in Harrisson’s Britain Revisited (1961).[16] Much primary material is held by the Mass-Observation Archive, University of Sussex (now substantially reproduced in Mass Observation Online, from Adam Matthew Digital). Clive Field has abstracted all M-O’s wartime religious data in his article ‘Puzzled People Revisited’.[17]


3.2 Opinion Pollsters

M-O went into commercial opinion polling and market research after the Second World War, one of its first major studies to deploy a representative sample of the adult population being on attitudes to capital punishment, analysed by religion, for the Daily Telegraph in 1948. Polling was a service industry which had been founded in Britain (as an import from the United States) by the British Institute of Public Opinion, later renamed Social Surveys (Gallup Poll), in 1937. Commencing with professed church membership and regular churchgoing in its November 1937 omnibus, Gallup went on to pose many questions on religious and closely related topics among quota samples of adult Britons, although it was February 1957 before its first full-scale enquiry on the subject was conducted.[18]


Inevitably, the areas which Gallup investigated were substantially determined by what its clients were prepared to commission and pay for, but it also funded some religious work for research’s sake, especially during Gordon Heald’s time with the company as Director (1969-80) and Managing Director (1980-94), before he left to found Opinion Research Business. A fair amount of Gallup’s data has entered the public domain, especially through The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls,[19] and the Gallup Political Index (1960-2001), most issues of which were republished on microfiche.[20] Many of the Gallup datasets are archived at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut.


Opinion polls are not without their methodological and interpretative challenges, including their potential to exaggerate the degree of religiosity. In particular, there has been a tendency from the beginning for reported attendance at places of worship to be double the reality, as Kathleen Bliss noted in the Christian News-Letter as early as 24 November 1948. However, polls remain an invaluable – and often the only – source of statistics for religious beliefs and attitudes. An evolving abstract of belief data from the 1940s, derived from Gallup and some of the many other pollsters who have now entered the arena, has been compiled by Robin Gill.[21] Clive Field has prepared comparable reviews of the poll evidence for Lent, Easter, Christmas, London, Sunday observance, Scotland, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.[22]


3.3 Academic Researchers

The tradition of social investigation is often difficult to separate from academic research. Academically generated religious statistics mostly post-date the Second World War. A principal catalyst was the emergence of the sociology of religion as a distinctive sub-discipline, partly underpinned by developments in empirical social psychology during the 1940s and 1950s.[23] One of the first sociologists in the field in Britain was John Highet, who undertook several quantitative studies of the Scottish Churches before the mid-1960s (see Appendix 8). Highet was a member of the Church of Scotland, which has subsequently commissioned research projects from Scottish universities, including Edinburgh and Glasgow (recorded above, in section 2.2).


In England there were pioneering statistically-based local studies of religion by William Pickering of Rawmarsh and Scunthorpe in 1954-56,[24] Peter Kaim-Caudle of Billingham in 1957-59 and 1964-66,[25] David Glass of London in 1960, Peter Varney of South Norfolk in 1962,[26] Robin Hinings of the Clun Valley in 1968,[27] and Geoffrey Nelson and Rosemary Clews of Dawley in 1969.[28] More recently, extensive research into conventional and common religion in Leeds was undertaken between 1976 and 1984, under the auspices of the University of Leeds Departments of Theology and Religious Studies and of Sociology,[29] while Lancaster University’s Department of Religious Studies conducted a survey of the congregational domain and holistic milieu in Kendal in 2000-02.[30] In Wales Graham Day and Martin Fitton investigated religion in Newtown and Machynlleth in 1974.[31]


In addition to these (and other) community studies, some of them now being replicated by Steve Bruce for a major book on religious change since 1945, academic social scientists have devoted much attention to investigating sects and new religious movements. On the whole, however, this literature contains little of statistical interest, the partial exceptions including Jim Beckford on the Jehovah’s Witnesses,[32] and Eileen Barker on the Moonies.[33] More quantitatively revealing have been studies among religious professionals, commencing with Tony Coxon’s survey of Church of England ordinands in 1962,[34] and the Aston University Industrial Administration Research Unit’s enquiry among Anglican, Methodist and Roman Catholic clergy in 1972-73.[35]


Latterly, research in this field has been disproportionately concentrated at the Centre for Ministry Studies, School of Theology and Religious Studies, Bangor University, owing much to Leslie Francis during his time in Bangor (he has since moved to the Institute of Education, University of Warwick) and to his colleagues and doctoral students there. The Bangor ministerial projects have often dealt with the Church of England or the Church in Wales, but there were major studies in 1996-97 of Methodist (by John Haley),[36] Pentecostal (by William Kay), and Roman Catholic (by Stephen Louden) clergy.[37]


As an educationalist and psychologist, Francis has also written or co-authored literally hundreds of papers and countless books since the 1970s on the religiosity and worldviews of children and young people, employing innovative attitude scales which he has personally devised. There is a synthesis of much of his early work in (with William Kay) Drift from the Churches, including the results of the quadrennially replicated surveys of pupils in East Anglian schools between 1974 and 1994.[38] By far the biggest sample he has analysed thus far has been that of 34,000 13- to 15-year-olds attending secondary schools throughout England and Wales in the 1990s, measuring their religious, supernatural and moral beliefs and attitudes.[39]


A considerable quantity of pre-Francis research among children and young adults, from the 1940s to 1970s, also exists. An introduction to this may be found in sections 4.1 and 4.2 of Clive Field’s contribution to Reviews of United Kingdom Statistical Sources.[40] There is additional detail in a review article by Francis,[41] while works by John Wilfred Daines and Derek Wright have ongoing bibliographical relevance for this older material.[42]


Many quantitative studies undertaken by academics fall into the non-recurrent category, but religious variables (typically religious affiliation and attendance at a place of worship) have also become standard features in some of the main serial sources. Political scientists were the first to do this with the British (and Scottish and Welsh) General Election Surveys, following on from parliamentary constituency-based work in the 1950s of how religion influenced voting behaviour (Greenwich, Droylsden, Bristol North East, Glossop and Newcastle-under-Lyme were among the case studies),[43] and from the seminal national profile of Political Change in Britain by David Butler and Donald Stokes.[44]


Apart from two missed years (1988 and 1992), the National Centre for Social Research’s consortially-funded British Social Attitudes Survey has been annual since 1983. As well as some standard religious variables, with potential for aggregate analysis,[45] extended modules on religion have been run in 1991, 1998 and 2008 as part of the International Social Survey Program.[46] There has been a separate Scottish Social Attitudes Survey since 1999, which routinely covers religion but additionally included special modules on religion in 2001,[47] attitudes to Muslims in 2003,[48] and to religious and other discrimination in 2006.[49] The British Household Panel Survey, based at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, has incorporated religious variables since its start in 1991.


Besides the International Social Survey Program, there are a number of other multinational projects which are academically-led, and which have investigated religion. The European and World Values Surveys, which have been conducted in Great Britain in 1981, 1990, 1999 and 2005 (with a further wave planned in 2010-11), are among the best-known and most extensive in their coverage of religious and moral issues. The Religion and Moral Pluralism project (1998) and the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Religion Monitor (2007) have attained similar depth, but hitherto on a one-off basis.[50] The Standard Eurobarometer, conducted on behalf of the European Commission each spring and autumn since 1974, has usually contained a few religious variables, while the Special and Flash Eurobarometers have very occasionally probed religious prejudice, particularly against Muslims. The European Social Survey, fielded every other year since 2002, also contains some religious questions, but there has not yet been a special module on religion.


Multinational public opinion polls based in North America which touch on religious themes, and which are conducted in Britain, currently comprise the Pew Global Attitudes Project (from 2002), Transatlantic Trends (an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, from 2003) and the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland (from 2006). The American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League have both commissioned international polls, in 1993 and more regularly from 2002, probing anti-Semitism, while Gallup’s World Poll is focusing increasingly on Islamic opinion and attitudes to Muslims (both surveyed in 2006-07 and 2008).


3.4 Print and Broadcast Media

The print media’s principal contribution to the collection and analysis of religious statistics has been through the newspaper industry. One of the most important and earliest manifestations of this interest was the large number of local counts of church attendance organized by the press in England and Scotland in 1881-82 (see Appendix 6), following on from the North British Daily Mail‘s similar exercise in the West of Scotland in 1876. Another thirty or so counts took place during the ensuing two decades, notably in Swansea and Cardiff in 1884 by the South Wales Daily News and Cardiff Times respectively; London by the British Weekly in 1886-87; Aberdeen (by the Northern Daily News), Dundee (by the Dundee Advertiser) and Liverpool (by the Liverpool Daily Post) in 1891; and Birmingham by the Birmingham News in 1892.


A further burst of newspaper enumerations of churchgoing occurred in the Edwardian period (see Appendix 9), of special significance for its scale and methodological rigour being the Daily News census of Inner and Greater London.[51] The Daily News was one of two publications (the other being the Nation and Athenaeum) which surveyed the religious allegiance and beliefs of its readership in 1926,[52] but perhaps the most influential exemplar of the self-completion questionnaire in a secular newspaper was Geoffrey Gorer’s enquiry in The People in 1951, covering both conventional and alternative aspects of religion.[53]


Inevitably, respondents to readership questionnaires constituted self-selecting samples who were unrepresentative of the nation as a whole. Therefore, the press (both broadsheet and tabloid) quickly latched on to the potential of opinion polls as a means of reporting and – to an extent – creating news by gathering more scientific data about religious beliefs, practices and attitudes, including the paranormal and reactions to particular events. Thus, the papal encyclical Humanae vitae in 1968 prompted enquiries among and about Roman Catholicism, while 9/11 and 7/7 generated a wave of surveys about Islam and Muslims. On account of its established status, the Church of England was always a subject which attracted special research attention, not least when it was divided over politics, doctrine, liturgy, the ordination of women or homosexuality.


Topics impinging on religion, such as the reform of abortion and Sunday trading laws, also triggered newspaper polls and/or column inches for investigations carried out on behalf of pressure groups like the Abortion Law Reform Association, Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, Shopping Hours Reform Council and Keep Sunday Special. The most sustained polling relationship was between Gallup and the News Chronicle from 1937 until the newspaper’s demise in 1961, and thereafter with the Daily Telegraph or Sunday Telegraph until the end of the twentieth century. But virtually no major secular title has been immune from sponsoring religion-related polls, at least until very recent years when newspapers have been forced to trim costs with the progressive collapse of their sales and advertising revenues. Some specialist publications have been active, too, for instance the Times Educational Supplement, which has conducted several surveys into religious education and collective worship in schools.


Religious newspapers can also provide statistics, although their budgets typically have not stretched to commissioning many commercial opinion polls. Exceptions comprise Gallup studies on the papal visit in 1982 conducted for The Universe, a Catholic weekly; surveys for another Catholic magazine, The Tablet, in 1999, 2001, 2005 and 2008, the last among mass-going Catholics, partly testing attitudes to Humanae vitae, forty years on; and some use of the online Cpanel of churchgoing Christians since its launch by ComRes in 2008. Circulation figures are a measure of each newspaper’s influence, and these are available from a combination of sources, including the returns of newspaper stamps in the nineteenth century (noted in section 1.2, above), the Audit Bureau of Circulations since 1931 (for major titles only), and the UK Christian Handbook (from 1980).


Readership questionnaires have been common in the religious press but have mostly collected marketing-type information from self-selecting samples. The longest sequence appears to be for the Jewish Chronicle (from 1958). Of wider significance, in terms of the number of replies attracted and the range of questions asked, were those undertaken among their readers by the Catholic Herald and Scottish Catholic Observer in 1977 and the Church Times in 2001 (with, in the latter case, separate analyses for laity and clergy).[54] Statistics of religious books published each year exist from 1928 (via The Bookseller) or, classified by the Dewey scheme, from the British National Bibliography since 1950.


The audiences for religious broadcasts have been monitored since the 1930s, initially on an ad hoc basis. Some of the earliest data appear in the works by Brian Cooper and Kenneth Wolfe.[55] Recurrent estimates for listeners to and viewers of religious programmes are available from 1940 for the BBC and from 1957 for the independent television companies, with the data to 1970 summarized by Robert Currie, Alan Gilbert and Lee Horsley.[56] Television audience data since 1981 have been gathered independently by the Broadcasters Audience Research Board.


The broadcasters have also commissioned several national opinion surveys to measure in greater detail the religious profile of their audiences and their reactions to religious programmes. Notable examples include those conducted for the BBC in 1954, and for independent television in 1961, 1963-64, 1968, 1973, 1978 (in Greater London), 1987 and 1993.[57] Polls have likewise been conducted to gather news content for religious programmes, albeit much more so for the BBC (in Britain and Scotland) than for independent broadcasters. Indeed, during the past two decades the BBC has probably been the single most important agency for sponsoring non-recurrent surveys on issues affecting religion and multiculturalism, including some wide-ranging investigations such as the Soul of Britain study in 2000.


Notes to section 3

[1] For an introduction to the work of the statistical societies, see Michael John Cullen, The Statistical Movement in Early Victorian Britain: The Foundations of Empirical Social Research, Hassocks: Harvester Press, 1975, pp. 77-133.

[2] There is a listing in Appendix C of Thomas Southcliffe Ashton, Economic and Social Investigations in Manchester, 1833-1933: A Centenary History of the Manchester Statistical Society, London: P. S. King, 1934.

[3] William Augustus Guy, ‘The Duration of Life among the Clergy’, Journal of the Statistical Society of London, Vol. 14, 1851, pp. 289-97.

[4] Herbert S. Skeats, ‘Statistics Relating to the Support of Religious Institutions in England and Wales’, Journal of the Statistical Society of London, Vol. 39, 1876, pp. 332-49.

[5] Horace Mann, ‘On the Statistical Position of Religious Bodies in England and Wales’, Journal of the Statistical Society of London, Vol. 18, 1855, pp. 141-59.

[6] The Sources and Nature of the Statistics of the United Kingdom, ed. Maurice Kendall, 2 vol., London: Oliver and Boyd, 1952-57.

[7] Religion, Reviews of United Kingdom Statistical Sources, Vol. 20, ed. Wynne Frederick Maunder, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1987.

[8] Charles Booth, Life and Labour of the People in London, Third Series, Religious Influences, 7 vol., London: Macmillan, 1902-03. For a discussion, see Rosemary O’Day and David Englander, Mr Charles Booth’s Inquiry: Life and Labour of the People in London Reconsidered, London: Hambledon Press, 1993, pp. 161-98.

[9] Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, Poverty: A Study of Town Life, London: Macmillan, 1902; Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, Poverty and Progress: A Second Social Survey of York, London: Longmans, Green, 1941; Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree and George Russell Lavers, English Life and Leisure: A Social Study, London: Longmans, Green, 1951.

[10] Mark Freeman, ‘"Britain’s Spiritual Life: How Can It Be Deepened?" Seebohm Rowntree, Russell Lavers and the "Crisis of Belief", ca. 1946-54’, Journal of Religious History, Vol. 29, 2005, pp. 25-42; Simon Green, ‘Social Science and the Discovery of a "Post-Protestant People": Rowntree’s Surveys of York and their other Legacy’, Northern History, Vol. 45, 2008, pp. 87-109.

[11] Conference on Christian Politics, Economics and Citizenship Ipswich Local Committee, Ipswich: A Survey of the Town, Ipswich: East Anglian Daily Times, 1924.

[12] Henry Adolphus Mess, Industrial Tyneside: A Social Survey Made for the Bureau of Social Research for Tyneside, London: Ernest Benn, 1928.

[13] The Social Survey of Merseyside, ed. David Caradog Jones, 3 vol., Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 1934.

[14] For general introductions to the work of Mass-Observation, see Angus Calder, ‘Mass-Observation, 1937-1949’, Essays on the History of British Sociological Research, ed. Martin Bulmer, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985, pp. 121-36; Tom Jeffery, Mass-Observation: A Short History, new edition, Mass-Observation Archive Occasional Paper, No. 10, Brighton: Mass-Observation Archive, University of Sussex, 1999; and Nick Hubble, Mass-Observation and Everyday Life: Culture, History, Theory, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

[15] Mass-Observation, Puzzled People: A Study in Popular Attitudes to Religion, Ethics, Progress and Politics in a London Borough, London: Victor Gollancz, 1947.

[16] Tom Harrisson, Britain Revisited, London: Victor Gollancz, 1961.

[17] Clive Douglas Field, ‘Puzzled People Revisited: Religious Believing and Belonging in Wartime Britain, 1939-45′, 20th Century British History, Vol. 19, 2008, pp. 446-79.

[18] News Chronicle, 15-17 April 1957.

[19] The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain, 1937-1975, ed. George Horace Gallup, 2 vol., New York: Random House, 1976. Cf. Robert J. Wybrow, Britain Speaks Out, 1937-87: A Social History as Seen Through the Gallup Data, Houndmills: Macmillan, 1989.

[20] In World Political Opinion and Social Surveys, Series I, Part I: British Opinion Polls, Basic Set, 1960-1988, ed. David Tyler, Reading: Research Publications, 1990.

[21] Robin Gill, C. Kirk Hadaway and Penny Long Marler, ‘Is Religious Belief Declining in Britain?’, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Vol. 37, 1998, pp. 507-16; Robin Gill, Churchgoing and Christian Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999, pp. 67-93; Robin Gill, The ‘Empty’ Church Revisited, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003, pp. 150-3, 214-15, 250-1.

[22] Clive Douglas Field, ‘Who’ s for Lent?’, Quadrant, March 1998, pp. 2-3; ‘It’ s All Chicks and Going Out: The Observance of Easter in Post-War Britain’, Theology, Vol. 101, 1998, pp. 82-90; ‘When a Child is Born: The Christian Dimension of Christmas in Britain since the 1960s’, Modern Believing, Vol. 40, No. 3, July 1999, pp. 29-40; ‘Faith in the Metropolis: Opinion Polls and Christianity in Post-War London’, London Journal, Vol. 24, 1999, pp. 68-84; ‘"The Secularised Sabbath" Revisited: Opinion Polls as Sources for Sunday Observance in Contemporary Britain’, Contemporary British History, Vol. 15, 2001, pp. 1-20; ‘"The Haemorrhage of Faith"? Opinion Polls as Sources for Religious Practices, Beliefs and Attitudes in Scotland since the 1970s’, Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 16, 2001, pp. 157-75; ‘John Bull’s Judeophobia: Images of the Jews in British Public Opinion Polls since the late 1930s’, Jahrbuch für Antisemitismusforschung, Vol. 15, 2006, pp. 259-300; and ‘Islamophobia in Contemporary Britain: The Evidence of the Opinion Polls, 1988-2006’, Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, Vol. 18, 2007, pp. 447-77.

[23] For which see Michael Argyle, Religious Behaviour, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958.

[24] William Stuart Frederick Pickering, ‘The Place of Religion in the Social Structure of Two English Industrial Towns (Rawmarsh, Yorkshire and Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire)’, University of London Ph.D. thesis, 1958.

[25] Peter Robert Kaim-Caudle, Religion in Billingham, 1957-59, Billingham-on-Tees: Billingham Community Association, 1962 and ‘Church & Social Change: A Study of Religion in Billingham, 1959-66’, New Christian, 9 March 1967.

[26] Peter D. Varney, ‘Religion in Rural Norfolk’, A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain, 3, eds David Alfred Martin and Michael Hill, London: SCM Press, 1970, pp. 65-77.

[27] Christopher Robin Hinings, ‘Religiosity and Attitudes Towards the Church in a Rural Setting: The Clun Valley’, Religion in the Birmingham Area: Essays in the Sociology of Religion, ed. Alan Bryman, Birmingham: Institute for the Study of Worship and Religious Architecture, University of Birmingham, 1975, pp. 112-22.

[28] Geoffrey Kenneth Nelson and Rosemary A. Clews, Mobility and Religious Commitment, Birmingham: University of Birmingham Institute for the Study of Worship and Religious Architecture, 1971.

[29] Helen Krarup, Conventional Religion and Common Religion in Leeds Interview Schedule: Basic Frequencies by Question, University of Leeds Department of Sociology Religious Research Papers, No. 12, Leeds: the Department, 1983.

[30] Paul Heelas and Linda Woodhead, The Spiritual Revolution: Why Religion is Giving Way to Spirituality, Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.

[31] Graham A. S. Day and Martin Fitton, ‘Religious Organization and Community in Mid-Wales’, Social and Cultural Change in Contemporary Wales, ed. Glyn Williams, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978, pp. 242-52.

[32] James Arthur Beckford, The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1975.

[33] Eileen Barker, The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing?, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984.

[34] Robert Towler and Anthony Peter Macmillan Coxon, The Fate of the Anglican Clergy: A Sociological Study, London: Macmillan, 1979.

[35] Stewart Ranson, Alan Bryman and Christopher Robin Hinings, Clergy, Ministers and Priests, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1977.

[36] John M. Haley and Leslie John Francis, British Methodism: What Circuit Ministers Really Think, Peterborough: Epworth, 2006.

[37] Stephen H. Louden and Leslie John Francis, The Naked Parish Priest: What Priests Really Think They’re Doing, London: Continuum, 2003.

[38] William Kilbourne Kay and Leslie John Francis, Drift from the Churches: Attitude Toward Christianity During Childhood and Adolescence, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1996.

[39] Leslie John Francis and William Kilbourne Kay, Teenage Religion and Values, Leominster: Gracewing, 1995; Gwyther Rees, Leslie John Francis and Mandy Robbins, Urban Hope and Spiritual Health: The Adolescent Voice, Peterborough: Epworth, 2005; Religion, Education and Adolescence: International Empirical Perspectives, eds Leslie John Francis, Mandy Robbins and Jeff Astley, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2005.

[40] Clive Douglas Field, ‘Non-Recurrent Christian Data’, Religion, Reviews of United Kingdom Statistical Sources, Vol. 20, edited by Wynne Frederick Maunder, Pergamon Press, 1987, pp. 259-67.

[41] Leslie John Francis, ‘The Child’s Attitude towards Religion: A Review of Research’, Educational Research, Vol. 21, 1978-79, pp. 103-8.

[42] John Wilfred Daines, Religious Education: A Series of Abstracts of Unpublished Theses in Religious Education, Nottingham: University of Nottingham Institute of Education, 1963-72; Derek Wright, The Psychology of Religion: A Review of Empirical Studies, Sutton Coldfield: Association for Religious Education, 1972.

[43] Peter Campbell, David Donnison and Allen Potter, ‘Voting Behaviour in Droylsden in October 1951’, Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies, Vol. 20, 1952, pp. 57-65; Mark Benney, A. P. Gray and Richard Hatherley Pear, How People Vote: A Study of Electoral Behaviour in Greenwich, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1956; Robert Stephen Milne and Hugh Cormack Henderson Mackenzie, Marginal Seat, 1955: A Study of Voting Behaviour in the Constituency of Bristol North East at the General Election of 1955, London: Hansard Society for Parliamentary Government, 1958; Anthony Harold Birch, Small-Town Politics: A Study of Political Life in Glossop, London: Oxford University Press, 1959; Frank Bealey, Jean Blondel and William Phillip McCann, Constituency Politics: A Study of Newcastle-under-Lyme, London: Faber & Faber, 1965.

[44] David Henry Edgeworth Butler and Donald Elkinton Stokes, Political Change in Britain: Forces Shaping Electoral Choice, London: Macmillan, 1969, second edition, 1974.

[45] For instance, Clive Douglas Field, ‘The People Called Methodists Today: Statistical Insights from the Social Sciences’, Epworth Review, Vol. 36, No. 4, October 2009, pp. 16-29.

[46] Andrew M. Greeley, ‘Religion in Britain, Ireland and the USA’, British Social Attitudes: The 9th Report, eds Roger Jowell, Lindsay Brook, Gillian Prior and Bridget Taylor, Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1992, pp. 51-70; Nan Dirk de Graaf and Ariana Need, ‘Losing Faith: Is Britain Alone?’, British Social Attitudes, the 17th Report: Focusing on Diversity, eds Roger Jowell, John Curtice, Alison Park, Katarina Thomson, Lindsey Jarvis, Catherine Bromley and Nina Stratford, London: Sage Publications, 2000, pp. 119-36; Andrew M. Greeley, Religion in Europe at the End of the Second Millennium, New Brunswick: Transaction, 2003.

[47] Steve Bruce and Tony Glendinning, ‘Religious Beliefs and Differences’, Devolution: Scottish Answers to Scottish Questions? The Third Scottish Social Attitudes Report, eds Catherine Bromley, John Curtice, Kerstin Hinds and Alison Park, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2003, pp. 86-115; Steve Bruce, Tony Glendinning, Iain Paterson and Michael Rosie, Sectarianism in Scotland, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2004.

[48] Asifa Hussain and William Miller, Multicultural Nationalism: Islamophobia, Anglophobia and Devolution, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.

[49] Catherine Bromley, John Curtice and Lisa Given, Attitudes to Discrimination in Scotland, 2006: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, Edinburgh: Scottish Government Social Research, 2007.

[50] On the latter, see What the World Believes: Analyses and Commentary on the Religion Monitor, 2008, ed. Martin Rieger, Gütersloh: Verlag Bertelsmann Stiftung, 2009.

[51]The Religious Life of London, ed. Richard Mudie-Smith, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1904.


[52] Richard Bevan Braithwaite, The State of Religious Belief: An Inquiry Based on ‘The Nation and Athenaeum’ Questionnaire, London: Hogarth Press, 1927.


[53] Geoffrey Edgar Solomon Gorer, Exploring English Character, London: Cresset Press, 1955.

[54] Leslie John Francis, Mandy Robbins and Jeff Astley, Fragmented Faith? Exploring the Fault-Lines in the Church of England, Bletchley: Paternoster Press, 2005.

[55] Brian Cooper, ‘Religious Broadcasting in Britain, 1922-39’, University of Oxford B.Litt. thesis, 1961; Kenneth Wolfe, The Churches and the British Broadcasting Corporation, 1922-1956: The Politics of Broadcast Religion, London: SCM Press, 1984.

[56] Robert Currie, Alan David Gilbert and Lee Horsley, Churches and Churchgoers: Patterns of Church Growth in the British Isles since 1700, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1977, pp. 235-7.

[57] The major published outputs from these were: Television and Religion: Prepared by Social Surveys (Gallup Poll) Ltd on Behalf of ABC Television Ltd., London: University of London Press, [1965]; Religion in Britain and Northern Ireland: A Survey of Popular Attitudes, London: Independent Television Authority, 1970; Michael Svennevig, Ian Haldane, Sharon Spiers and Barrie Gunter, Godwatching: Viewers, Religion and Television, London: John Libbey, 1988; Barrie Gunter and Rachel Viney, Seeing is Believing: Religion and Television in the 1990s, London: John Libbey, 1994.

On to Part 4: Future Needs and Prospects for Religious Studies


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.