New survey reveals worshippers' demographics in UK - CEN
DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Mon Nov 26 01:17:48 EST 2001
New survey reveals worshippers' demographics in UK
Church of England Newspaper
The largest ever survey of church members was released this week,
revealing that two-thirds are female and one-third over the age of 65,
but that many are content with the worship in their local church and
also involved in the community. More than 100,000 people completed a
survey in April this year, as part of the Churches Information for
Mission "Faith for Life" Project. Based on a successful survey
undertaken in 1995 in Australia, the cross-denominational research aims
to give local churches an idea of how they can move forward in mission.
Alison Gelder, Chief Executive of Churches Information for Mission,
said it was encouraging that respondents felt able to meet with God in
their local church.
"So often you get the impression that you don't go to church to find
God, such as William Hague saying he prefers the hills. The survey is
an overwhelming vote of confidence that people gave in response to so
many different questions." Fifty seven per cent said they always found
joy in their worship, and 95 per cent said they "always or sometimes"
found inspiration. Older respondents most valued communion and
traditional worship, whereas younger members thought the sermon was
Clergy wondering about evangelism need not worry -- 80 per cent of
respondents had invited friends or relatives to church either in the
past, or in the current year.
Churchgoers are more highly educated that the general population,
though not exclusively so. In the population at large 16 per cent of
men and 13 per cent of women are graduates, whilst in the churches the
figures are 37 per cent of men and 30 per cent of women.
The survey cost between (GBP)400,000-(GBP)500,000 and was funded by the
mainstream denominations and aid agencies. The entire process was put
in jeopardy after the completion of the survey, when the Silver Fish
advertising agency collapsed leaving thousands of pounds owing to CIM.
An emergency appeal by CIM's patrons brought in the necessary cash from
denominations, local churches and Christian agencies.
The Church of England was fully supportive of the survey, and a
spokesman said it was good that: "Instead of working on anecdotes, as
has been done in the past, we now have something with real figures
which we can rely on."
More information about the VirtueOnline