New data released this week shows further sharp falls in church attendance in England. The figures are compiled by the Church of England who have tried put a desperate spin on what in the cold light of day is very bad news for them. Here’s all the key numbers released this week for attendance in 2005:
- Average Sunday Attendance DOWN 2%
- Average Weekly Attendance DOWN 1%
The old way of measuring attendance which has been used by the Church for a longer period of time is called Usual Sunday Attendance:
- Usual Sunday Attendance DOWN 3% to 881,000.
In 1968 this figure was 1.6million, so on this measure the number of people attending Church on Sunday has halved in the last 37 years. In 1997 the figure was 996,000 which means on this measure the Church of England is losing more than 14,000 Sunday worshippers every year. So, all in all, very this is very encouraging news!
- Baptisms DOWN 2%
- Thanksgivings DOWN 13%
- Church Funerals DOWN 2%
- Easter Attendance DOWN 6%
- Christmas Attendance UP 6%
Is it too cynical to ask why these figures of further decline in Christianity were released on the same day as the letter from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to Tony Blair on the adoption row. Surely the church wasn’t using the row over adoption agencies to bury bad news, they wouldn’t do that, would
Incidentally, if you want to know about spin – about making something bad sound good – without ever going over the line of telling a full blown lie – then read through the CofE press release on the figures and their claim that the data gives a “mixed” picture. Honestly, you could use it on a media studies GCSE as a course material on spin and lobby groups.