Where in Britain does ‘do God’?

Nov 28, 2019 by

by Giles Fraser,  UnHerd:

New polling finds that faith is more vigorous in the cities, especially in places shaped by migration.

The Bible begins in a garden and ends up in a City; it goes from Eden in Genesis to the New Jerusalem in Revelation. Jesus was a country person — his stories of sowers and weeds and fishermen all being rooted in the bucolic greenery of the upper Galilee. But Paul was thoroughly urban — the apostle’s message was spread throughout the cities of the Roman empire and along the migration routes that connected them.

It is interesting, therefore, to see that according to the data published by UnHerd today, the city remains far more religious than the countryside. Respondents were asked whether or not they thought morality is rooted in religion (my answer: it’s not). But I am going to assume that, generally speaking (and unlike me), the more religious you are, the more likely you are to think that morality is rooted in religion. As a result, the survey gives an idea of the distribution of religious belief around the UK.

It is no surprise to me that faith is more vigorous in the cities, especially in places shaped by migration. This is partly about the impact of Islam in the West Midlands and elsewhere. But also about the extraordinary growth of Christianity worldwide and its return back to the places that first sponsored its evangelisation.

See also: 2067: the end of British Christianity, by Damian Thompson, Spectator

Editor’s note: neither of these articles refer to the rapid expansion in church-planting initiatives by Anglican and independent, mainly white middle class evangelicals. While these initiatives need to be factored in to the general downward trend of church future projections, sobering questions need to be asked about the extent to which church planting is making a difference beyond a narrow section of society.

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