Church of England attendance remains stable

(PA)
Attendance figures in the Church of England have been stable over the last decade

The Church of England today released its attendance statistics for 2012, revealing no significant change in levels of attendance over the last 10 years.

In 2012 an average of 1.05 million people attended Church of England churches for a Sunday service, approximately the same as the figure for 2002.

That number more than doubled at Christmas, with 2.5 million people attending Christmas day services in 2012. Approximately 1.5 million people took to the pews for Easter Sunday.

A fifth of all churches reported growth in 2012, while just over that number reported a fall in attendance. The remaining 57% reported that their attendance remained stable.

Dr Bev Botting, Head of Research and Statistics for the Archbishops' Council said: "These statistics for 2012 show that weekly attendance over the past decade has not changed significantly.

"The introduction of cleaner data and more rigorous methodological approaches and analysis means these figures provide a clearer picture of Anglican churchgoing in the decade to 2012."

2012's figures suggest that 38,000 who have never attended church previously came to find a Christian religious community in 2013. This is positive when compared to the 19,000 who left the Church of England as a result of illness or death.

Almost 23,000 people joined a church after moving to a new area, while 18,500 left because they moved away.

The Church of England also shows substantial vitality among the younger population, with 100,000 people aged 11-25 being involved with church-connected activities in 2012.

There are plenty of people looking after younger people - 30,000 in total work with 11-17 year olds, 28,000 of whom are volunteers.

Across the Church of England there were more than 356,000 baptisms, weddings, and funerals. This makes an approximate average of 6,700 services per week, nearly 1000 a day.

Funerals are the most common service, with 160,000 performed in 2012. This is followed by baptisms, of which the Church of England performed 140,000 that same year.

In terms of marriages, 56,000 were hosted by a Church of England church in 2012.

According to the Church of England, there are approximately 16,000 Anglican churches in operation across England, meaning that on average each church deals with 23 of these kinds of services every year.

While churches have managed to stabilise, attendance at cathedrals is actively growing, with total weekly numbers in 2012 reaching 35,800, an increase of 35% since 2002.

The rise has been credited to cathedrals strengthening their community ties with special services as well as maintaining the standard regular ones.

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