Only six per cent of British adults read or listen to the Bible, while 55 per cent of Christians in this country never do so, according to a new poll commissioned for the Archbishops' Council Evangelism Task Force.
The survey of 8150 British adults, which also shows dwindling numbers praying and attending church, was conducted by ComRes in March and reported by the Church Times.
Asked about how often they read or listened to the Bible, 55 per cent of those who described themselves as Christians answered 'never' while 14 per cent said at least once a month.
Twenty-nine per cent said that they never prayed, while 40 per cent said that they did at least once a month, and 18 per cent answered that they did so daily.
Regarding church attendance, one third of Christians said 'never' with 19 per cent saying at least once a month and 14 per cent at least once a week.
Anglicans were the most likely to tick 'never' to all three measurements of practising the faith, while Pentecostalists and members of Independent or Free Evangelical Churches were most likely to report frequent activity.
Of those who describe themselves as 'followers of Jesus', 56 per cent read or listened to the Bible at least monthly, while 86 per cent prayed and 53 per cent went to church.
Overall, the poll showed that just over half (51 per cent) defined themselves as Christian, a higher proportion that was reported in the latest British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, published last week, which found that 41 per cent of 2129 respondents identified themselves as Christian.
In line with other surveys, the ComRes poll showed an aging Christian population.
Of the Christian respondents, 32 per cent were over 65 and just six per cent were under 24.