Church of England church buildings noticed a major rise in weekly attendance in 2021 however figures stay far decrease than earlier than the pandemic, in accordance with new statistics launched on Tuesday.
Statistics for Mission 2021 confirmed that weekly attendance at all-age providers – together with Sunday and midweek providers – rose from 345,000 in 2020 when many church buildings had been closed, to 605,000 in 2021, the yr restrictions eased.
Regardless of the rise, figures stay almost a 3rd decrease than in 2019 when common weekly attendance was 854,000.
In 2021, grownup common weekly attendance was 28% decrease than in 2019, whereas baby common weekly attendance fell by 38%.
The overall ‘Worshipping Neighborhood’ – outlined within the report as individuals who attend worship recurrently, as soon as a month or extra, each in individual and at residence – fell from 1.113 million in 2019 to 1.031 million in 2020 and 966,000 folks in 2021 – standing at round 1.7% of the English inhabitants.
Easter and Christmas providers had been affected, dropping by 56% and 58% respectively since 2019, as was college service attendance, which noticed a decline of 51%.
Over a 3rd (36.4%) of individuals attending CofE providers final yr had been over the age of 70 – nicely above the 13.6 per cent of the overall inhabitants on this age group.
“It continues to be the case that folks aged 70 and over make up a significantly bigger proportion of the Church of England’s Worshipping Neighborhood than of the inhabitants of England,” the report states.
Commenting on the figures, the Church of England stated the information mirrored “one other anomalous yr” and that many church buildings continued to be affected by Covid measures.
“The pandemic continued to have an effect on the lifetime of the Church of England, with some church buildings being closed for worship for elements of 2021 and a few members of congregations persevering with to not attend in-person providers,” the abstract to the report says.
“It might be very shocking, due to this fact, if Church of England attendance and participation in 2021 returned to their pre-pandemic ranges.
“This report must be handled as a abstract of one other anomalous yr, indicating the extent to which issues have ‘bounced again’ however noting that additional bouncing again is anticipated.”
Along with the figures on worship, the report praises the “spectacular” adaptability of clergy throughout a difficult couple of years.
Dr Ken Eames, of the CofE’s Information Evaluation Crew and creator of the report, stated, “2021 was one other yr of Covid-related disruption for church buildings, because the figures on this report present.
“The figures from 2020 and 2021 describe the extraordinary occasions that church buildings and their communities have been by way of and must be understood in that context.
“My expectation is that we’ll see an additional return of worshippers to church buildings in 2022.”