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Censuses of churchgoing (2545)

Type of Data: Censuses of churchgoing (2545)

Faith Community: Christianity

Date: 1881, October-1882, February

Geography: Great Britain (142 cities, towns and districts)

Population: Churchgoers

Keywords: Church attendance, churchgoing, sittings, Sunday school

Collection Method: Independent enumerators

Collection Agency: Provincial newspapers

Published Source:

  • The Nonconformist and Independent, 2 and 23 February and 9 March 1882
  • The Newspaper Religious Census and its Lessons: A Summary of the Statistics of Attendance at Public Worship, Published Between October 1881 and April 1882, London: Society for the Liberation of Religion from State Patronage and Control, 1882
  • Andrew Mearns, The Statistics of Attendance at Public Worship, as Published in England, Wales and Scotland by the Local Press Between October 1881 and February 1882, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1882
  • The Independent's Religious Census of Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Worksop and Retford Taken on Sunday, Nov. 20, 1881, Reprinted, with Corrections and Additions, from the 'Sheffield and Rotherham Independent', Sheffield: Leader & Sons, 1881
  • Census of Public Worship in Bradford: Being Statistics of the Attendance at Religious Services in the Borough on Dec. 11 and Dec. 18, 1881, with Press and Pulpit Comments, Revised and Reprinted from 'The Bradford Observer', Bradford: Bradford Observer, 1882
  • Robert Howie, The Churches and the Churchless in Scotland: Facts and Figures, Glasgow: David Bryce, 1893, pp. 99-108
  • David Hugh McLeod, 'Class, Community and Region: The Religious Geography of Nineteenth-Century England', A Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain, 6, ed. Michael Hill, London: SCM Press, 1973, pp. 29-72
  • Edward Royle, 'Writing the Local History of Methodism', Methodism and History: Essays in Honour of John Vickers, eds Peter Stuart Forsaith and Martin Wellings, Oxford: Applied Theology Press, 2010, pp. 13-36

    BRIN ID: 2545


    The censuses were mainly conducted by Liberal-and Nonconformist-leaning newspapers. In addition to surveying churchgoing, some censuses also collected information about sittings and Sunday scholars. For a fuller discussion of the varying methodologies, and a complete list of the 142 places then identified, see Clive Douglas Field, ‘Non-Recurrent Christian Data’, Religion, Reviews of United Kingdom Statistical Sources, Vol. 20, ed. Wynne Frederick Maunder, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1987, pp. 292-3, 492-4

    Posted by: Clive D. Field

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