Is church attendance in England and Wales in decline? video discussion

In the previous post, I asked Dr Rhiannon McAleer of Bible Society about their research on church attendance in partnership with YouGov, and the surprising and encouraging findings.

In this video, we discuss the issues, including their findings around Bible interest and engagement, and the moments in life when people are most open to thinking about faith.

Come and join the discussion!

For links to the research this is the place to go Lumino – Bible Society. Rhiannon also mentioned the research related to Queen Elizabeth, and that’s available here: Queen_report_full_v2.pdf (

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2 thoughts on “Is church attendance in England and Wales in decline? video discussion”

  1. This was the epitome of a great interview: two lively minds looking at objectively produced data and pondering what it tells us and what we might be doing in response.

    I take the point that today’s greater variety of ways in which people engage with churches apart from attendance at a Sunday morning service may mean that it’s not ‘all doom and gloom’ as the raw figures suggest. And, to be honest, we get no simple template of how Christian churches should operate from the New Testament. But there’s nothing like a full attendance of God’s people meeting together once a week to worship him; I think there are good reasons for maintaining or rebuilding that tradition as and when possible.

    And there is a direct instruction that God’s people should not neglect to meet together. God chose to make us as physical beings and, while digital magic can facilitate connections of the mind, I don’t think online communication can ever fully equate with real physical meeting up with other people. My own experience of online worship a couple of years ago was that it is no substitute for the real thing; the reasons hardly need expounding, and they’ve already been quite widely discussed.

    There is one observation which must surely corroborate the ‘gloom and doom’ conclusion. We Christians cannot deny that our affect on how the broad population now lives in terms of people’s beliefs, attitudes, and lifestyles has greatly diminished; it would be hard not to observe that our society is so far adrift from its former Christian assumptions and expectations that it is breaking down – with no sign that this trend is at an end point yet. It’s not a unique experience; we just happen to be living at such a time. Our job is to remain faithful and, yes, to accept innovation where an honest look at the data tells us that innovation is necessary to serve God more effectively at this particular time.

    Thanks for taking the time to present this interview!

  2. I can agree with much of what Don says August 14, 2023 at 11:47 am.
    However I do think that there is a lot of teaching in the NT to modal Church praxes’ and much in the OT to boot, especially
    how we are to approach our Holy God, we do well to seriously ponder that fact. One, in our awe and stillness before Him and futher on to rejoice with great joy in the absolute wonder of His Salvation.
    The whole point of worshiping God in the church means that we bring an offering into His courts, not come with the attitude that we want to get something out of our visit
    “ask not what can I get out of my church,but say what can I bring for my church”[after JFK]
    Similar to those who say that “I don’t get anything out of the Word”. The point is that “The entrance of your word gives light” even just hearing the word read if we but allow it’s enterance.
    Further, what can we do in church in this time of declension?
    One thing to mention – “Contend for the faith once delivered” When a church “moves away”[ apostacy] one should labor to bring them back.
    We may be called to be prophetic, but be aware quite a lot of prophets and apostles were martyred. CSLEWIS said in 1954 of the parelous state of the Cof E that it urgently required Missionaries [FERNSEED AND ELEPHANTS]or Modern Theology paper.
    I count Ian Paul and friends making a good stab at this,who yet are often the butt of slings and arrows or those in the threads who agree with him are.


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