Appendix 8


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


John Highet’s Contribution to Scottish Religious Statistics


Born (1918) and bred in Glasgow, John Highet was educated at the Universities of Glasgow and Oxford, and spent much of his academic career lecturing in applied sociology at Glasgow, prior to becoming head of the School of Social Studies at what is now the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. He was also closely involved with the Church of Scotland and a member of a number of its committees at General Assembly and Presbytery levels.


His primary empirical research into the Scottish Churches seems mainly to have been conducted between circa 1947 and circa 1965, two decades during which he was effectively the sole representative of the academic sociology of religion in Scotland. Especially useful were the statistics he assembled on Scottish church membership and attendance (including, in the latter case, through churchgoing counts in Glasgow), and his assessment of the impact of evangelistic campaigns.


Highet made limited use of opinion poll data, of which he was quite critical, and, in any case, at that period there were no sample samples which included sufficiently large numbers of Scots. Scotland-only polls did not emerge until the 1970s.[1] Highet also dismissed as ‘singularly worthless’ the inclusion of religious profession as a question in the population censuses of some European countries.[2]


From 1960 Highet moved increasingly into the sociology of education. His principal publications on Scottish Christianity comprise:


The Churches in Scotland To-Day: A Survey of Their Principles, Strength, Work and Statements, Glasgow: Jackson Son & Company, 1950.

‘Scottish Religious Adherence’, British Journal of Sociology, Vol. 4, 1953, pp. 142-59.

‘The Churches’, The Scottish Economy: A Statistical Account of Scottish Life by Members of the Staff of Glasgow University, ed. Alec K. Cairncross, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1954, pp. 297-315.

‘The Churches’, The Third Statistical Account of Scotland: Glasgow, eds. James Cunnison and John Brodie Smith Gilfillan, Glasgow: Collins, 1958, pp. 713-50.

‘The Protestant Churches in Scotland: A Review of Membership, Evangelistic Activities and Other Aspects’, Archives de Sociologie des Religions, Vol. 8, July-December 1959, pp. 97-104.

The Scottish Churches: A Review of Their State 400 Years After the Reformation, London: Skeffington, 1960.

‘Churchgoing in Scotland’, New Society, 26 December 1963.

‘A Review of Scottish Socio-Religious Literature’, Social Compass, Vol. 11, No. 3-4, 1964, pp. 21-4.

‘Faithful After a Fashion’, Glasgow Herald, 11 October 1965.

‘Trend Report on the Sociology of Religion in Scotland’, Social Compass, Vol. 13, 1966, pp. 343-8.

‘Great Britain: Scotland’, Western Religion: A Country by Country Sociological Inquiry, ed. Hans Mol in collaboration with Margaret Hetherton and Margaret Henty, The Hague: Mouton, 1972, pp. 249-69.

‘Trends in Attendance and Membership’, Prospects for Scotland: Report of the 1984 Census of the Churches, by Peter William Brierley and Fergus Macdonald, Bromley: MARC Europe, 1985, pp. 8-13.



[1] Clive Douglas Field, ‘“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.

[2] Jewish Life in Modern Britain, eds. Julius Gould and Shaul Esh, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964, p. 135.


Forward to Appendix 9: Local Censuses of Church Attendance in Great Britain, 1901-12

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.