Church of England Attendance Stats 2017

Nov 21, 2018 by

by David Keen, Opinionated Vicar:

Like a nervous Jacob sending his flocks, wives and children ahead to placate his wronged and hairy brother Esau, the Church of England released several batches of positive stats prior to last weeks full attendance statistics report. So we had Cathedral attendance (up), Christmas attendance (up) social engagement (widespread and positive) and digital engagement. I must confess to an increasing feeling of unease with each successive press release, and the delay in the publication of the stats (originally trailed as October).

The press briefings clearly did their job, pushing Christmas attendance and digital engagement to the top of the page and relegating the gnarly stuff about attendance to further down. The report itself starts upbeat, focusing on a new measure ‘Worshipping Community’ which also happens to give the highest figure for church participation of 1.14m. There are also encouraging figures on church ‘joiners’, with 83,000 adults joining an Anglican church in 2017. Of those, 31% had never attended church before, and 17% had previously left and were returning. That’s good, and encouraging.

read down a page or two and you discover that the Worshipping Community measure doesn’t offer ‘robust information’ and keeping track of it is ‘more challenging’ than the traditional headcount.

So here is the traditional headcount, the change in Adult Weekly Attendance (the average number of adults attending church each week in October) from 2012-2017

Read here


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