Church in crisis as only 2% of young adults identify as C of E

Sep 11, 2018

By Harriet Sherwood

The Church of England is facing a generational catastrophe with only 2% of young adults identifying with it, while seven out of 10 under-24s say they have no religion, research reveals.

C of E affiliation is at a record low among all age groups, and has halved since 2002, according to the British Social Attitudes survey. Far fewer actually attend church services on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, the trend towards a secular society has increased over recent years. The BSA survey found that 52% of people had no religion in 2017 compared with 41% in 2002. However, the proportion last year was slightly down on 2016, when 53% said they had no religious affiliation.

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5 comments on “Church in crisis as only 2% of young adults identify as C of E

  • ShadowMind #1
    Sep 11, 2018 at 11:37 pm

    This should be celebrated.
    The death-throes of a dead institution.

    We should be a little cautious about this!
    For centuries and from its inception under Henry VIII, the CofE has acted as a buffer to restrain the more extreme religions from having a bigger footprint in politics.

    What should be celebrated more, is the turn-around in Ireland with the reduction in influence of the Catholic Church, – with openly gay politicians meeting the pope and TELLING HIM what laws are to be operational in their jurisdiction!
    Admittedly further progress, would be if such promoters of delusion, were confined to their ecclesiastical enclaves, (with psychological counselling?) and regarded as irrelevant to the running of the outside world.

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  • @#2 – We should be a little cautious about this!

    Data from the British Social Attitudes Survey (BSAS) shows that over the period 1983 to 2014:

    The Church of England population has nearly halved (from 16.5m to 8.6m);
    The Catholic population has remained relatively steady (from 4.1 to 4m);
    Non-Christian religious numbers have increased five-fold (from 0.8m to 4m);
    Persons of no religious affiliation have nearly doubled (from 12.8m to 24.7m).

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  • There are some interesting graphs and data on these links.

    Over the period 2005-2010, the major Christian denominations such as Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian all saw falls in membership.
    Orthodox, Pentecostal and other new churches (Evangelical and Charismatic) on the other hand, saw an increase in membership.

    Church membership is declining in all four constituent countries of the UK, but in England the decline is relatively small, whereas the biggest decline appears to be in Scotland.

    . . . . . for church attendance (as opposed to membership) for the period 1980-2015. Key findings are:

    Church attendance has declined from 6,484,300 to 3,081,500 (equivalent to a decline from 11.8% to 5.0% of the population).

    England has the lowest percentage of the population attending church in 2015 (4.7%), just below Wales at 4.8%. In Scotland, the equivalent figure is 8.9%

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  • It is no surprise that churches are in crisis, when after years of posing as prime sources of “superior morality”, the cover-ups of abuses are gradually being uncovered all round the world!

    More than 3,600 children in Germany were assaulted by Roman Catholic priests between 1946 and 2014, a leaked report has revealed.
    The study was commissioned by the Church itself, and was due to be published on 25 September.

    According to the report, some 1,670 clergymen in Germany committed some form of sex attack on 3,677 minors, German outlet Spiegel Online reported.

    The report is the latest in a long series of revelations that have uncovered decades of sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests around the world.

    According to the new study, only 38% of the alleged perpetrators were prosecuted with most facing only minor disciplinary procedures, German media said. About one in six cases involved rape.

    Most of the victims were boys, and more than half were aged 13 or younger.

    Predatory clerics were often moved to new communities, where no warning was issued about their actions.

    The damning German study is the latest in a series of blows to the Roman Catholic Church.

    Claims of clerical sex abuse have been levelled around the world, and with them allegations that Church leaders hushed up or ignored the wrongdoing.

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