Durham is revealed as Church of England low point for Christians

Durham Cathedral

Durham in the north of England is the diocese where Christians are least likely to go to a service of the Church of England, according to latest figures.

Church attendance data analysed by the Manchester Evening News shows just one in 81 Christians attended an Anglican church in Durham in 2014, a fall of nearly 10 per cent since 2009.

The figures indicate the continuing decline in church attendance over centuries but that has been particularly marked in the last few decades. 

Durham was one of the most important sites of Christian pilgrimage in the medieval era because of the shrine of St Cuthbert at the cathedral. The present Archbishop of Canterbury had been Bishop of Durham for just one year from November 2011 when his appointment to Canterbury was announced in November 2012.

Next worst were Liverpool and Wakefield, with one out of 67 Christians going to church. Manchester was seventh, at one in 57. The average across all 42 dioceses was one in 42.

Highest was Gloucester, where 3.7 per cent of the Christian population attended church, or one in 27 Christians.

On average, 980,000 people attended church each week in October 2014. On a usual Sunday, the number was just 764,700 people, down from 786,700 in 2013 and 823,800 in 2009.