Attendance and giving significantly impacted by pandemic, study finds

Nov 29, 2021 by

from Christian Today:

Most churches have returned to weekly in-person services but not everyone has returned to the pews and even among those who have, many are not attending as frequently as they did before Covid-19, new research has found.

The Evangelical Alliance’s Changing Church report, which surveyed 552 church leaders and 1,676 church members, reveals a significant shift in the habits of churchgoers since the start of the pandemic.

Some 95% of church leaders say meeting in person on a weekly basis has resumed, while many churches are continuing to offer an online option at least monthly (61%).

But the research finds that attendance at weekly in-person services has dropped by 32%.

Asked to estimate the typical number of people at a church service in person before Covid and over the last month, church leaders reported an average of 124 in attendance pre-pandemic, falling to 85 by autumn 2021.

This finding was also reflected in what individual respondents reported about their own church attendance, with 92% saying they had attended church services in person on a weekly basis prior to the pandemic, but only 68% saying they do so now.

This is contrasted by a 16% rise in fortnightly and monthly in-person church attendance.

While weekly online attendance has not significantly changed since before the pandemic (24% before vs 23% now), there has been a large increase (19%) in online attendance among those who continue to attend on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

More than one in 10 have not returned to their pre-pandemic church. Among church members surveyed, 9% said they are now attending a different church in person while 2% are attending a different church online. A handful (3%) are not attending any church at all.

Read here

Read also: Almost half of elderly Christians think church leaders failed to offer pastoral support during the pandemic, survey shows, Premier

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