Strong church growth in London

The first decade of the century for the church in the capital has been one of strong growth in membership and giving, reports the Diocese of London.

A new report out this week, Another Capital Idea, said giving to churches had risen in real terms by 50 per cent over the past decade despite slightly tailing off in the recession.

As well as an increase in the overall income from giving, the number of “tax efficient planned givers” - people who register their donations for tax purposes - rose from 21,000 in 2000 to 26,300 in 2009.

In terms of membership and attendance at churches, measured by the electoral roll, the report notes an increase of close to 13,500, up from 60,600 to 74,100 between 2003 and 2010.

The report’s authors note that “usual Sunday attendance” rose by 2 per cent. They suggest this may be because more people are showing deeper commitment to their churches by signing up to the electoral roll and giving more, but attending services less frequently.

The report suggests that in order to maintain and build on the growth, successful churches should share their experiences with other churches across the diocese.

The Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres commented in the foreword to the report: “Another Capital Idea gives us encouragement that our work here for Christ is generating good fruit among the people of London.

"It also demonstrates that our work is far from complete. The report helps us to understand better our activities, and will aid us in deciding how to most effectively use our resources and honour Christ in London.”