Evangelicals to be Dominant Force in UK Church Development, Research Finds

Evangelicals will be a key body in the future development of the Church in the UK a new report has found. Christian Research, a member organisation of the Evangelical Alliance UK, has revealed the findings in its latest issue of their journal Religious Trends 5.
The research indicated that by 2020 evangelicals will be the dominant force in all denominations. The research was titled, ‘Churchmanship’, and the editor of Religious Trends, Peter Brierley stated that by 2020, “Evangelicals dominate”. This deduction is based on figures over recent years revealing that larger evangelical Church of England churches have increasingly been taking the lead.

The journal stated that the majority of the Church of England’s large churches, with more than a 350-strong congregation, are evangelical.

The Deputy Director of Christian Research, Heather Wraight commented, “These 163 churches, 1% of the total number of Church of England churches, represented 6% of the total average congregation in 1989. This rose to 8% by 1998 and 11% by 2003, and is projected to become 14% by 2010 then rise once again by 2020.”

Rev Simon Holland, the Associate Minister of St Saviour’s in Guildford confirmed the finding that large evangelical churches are having and increasing influence among the UK churches.

Currently the Anglican Church has over 1,200 people attending on a regular basis, and this number is set to increase, according to an Evangelical Alliance press release.

|QUOTE|Rev Holland said, “I think we (large evangelical churches) are finding more ways to connect with the culture we find ourselves in. This does not mean that we are changing the message of the Gospel, but we recognise that the Gospel needs to be re-directed to each generation.”

Another string indication that was found in the journal’s findings, was that charismatic churches, among which a majority are evangelical, have grown considerably and are set to continue this same trend over the next decade.

One reason suggested for this growth is a combination of quality, strategic, risk-taking leadership and vision, according to the journal.

The UK Director at the Evangelical Alliance, John Smith said, “Right across the UK there is evidence that the Church is alive and well. Alpha continues to make its mark. Citywide mission projects like Soul in the City and Merseyfest motivate armies of young Christians to love their communities in Jesus’ name. The burgeoning black church phenomenon continues to rewrite the landscape of UK churchmanship. Countless experiments in emerging church demonstrate that while there may be impatience with the Church as we may have known it, rumours of its demise are greatly exaggerated.”