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Monday, April 09, 2007

Survey shows UK more of a churchgoing nation than some believe

Tear Fund has published a survey in time for Easter showing that 1 out of every 7 adults in the UK attends church at least once a month (

The survey, 'Churchgoing in the UK' finds that 25% attend at least four times a year.

Overall, the survey found that 53% of people in the UK described themselves as Christian. This is in line with other surveys though lower than both the last census and a British Social Attitudes survey result. Still, it is higher than you would think from reading most opinion-formers.

For Londoners, there is a particularly interesting result. The survey found that 22% of Londoners attend church every month. This is not reflected in civic life. London comes second in churchgoing only to Northern Ireland (where 45% attend church every month) and 20% of Londoners are categorised as belonging to 'other religions'. Also interesting is that nationwide '48% of adults of black ethnic origin attend church monthly'.

Once again a survey demonstrates that though in many ways a secular country, the UK is more relgious and more serious about religion than the image reflected back to us through much of the media and through opinion-formers. I guess most people of a religious persuasion are quietly getting on with working out their faith in their daily lives.

But they are also very likely to be looking for global political action on poverty and freedom of expression, including religious expression. Politicians would be wise to engage and understand these faith perspectives.

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