Young people more likely to attend a place of worship over Christmas - poll

People listen to a choir singing carols at a Christmas Tree Festival held at the Church of St Paul's in Bedford.(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Young people are twice as likely as those over the age of 55 to go to a place of worship this Christmas, new research has found. 

The survey carried out by Savanta ComRes for Samaritan's Purse found that a third of 18- to 34-year-olds plan to visit a place of worship over the Christmas period as part of their weekly or monthly routine. 

Only 17% of UK adults aged over 55 said the same. 

The findings echo a similar survey by Savanta ComRes in September that found 18- to 34-year-olds were also twice as likely as those over 55 to say they pray and attend church regularly. 

Nick Cole, UK Director of Operation Christmas Child, an annual Christmas shoebox appeal run by Samaritan's Purse said, "Across all age groups, the Christmas period continues to attract greater numbers of people to places of worship compared to the rest of the year, and particularly among younger generations.

"However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Millennials and Generation Z's are now engaging with places that centre around faith and spirituality more than their predecessors during this time."

He continued, "Though the exact reasons for this are unclear, it is possible that people from non-traditional Christian denominations, which tend to attract younger audiences, are attending places of worship in larger numbers over the Christmas period.

"Younger adults are also more likely to have young children and so may be more likely to attend Christmas themed events at churches."

Overall, the latest poll found that only 30% of respondents identifying as Christian said they were planning to attend a place of worship over Christmas as part of their weekly or monthly routine. 

Cole continued, "Whilst Christmas is a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, adults under the age of 35, irrespective of their beliefs or faith background, seem to be increasingly involved with places of worship during the Christmas period.

"Christmas is a time of gift giving and sharing joy and hope with our loved ones, neighbours and the most vulnerable in our society.

"We believe that everyone can get involved with Christmas and deserves a Christmas gift, especially those who are living in some of the most difficult circumstances worldwide."