The Human Truth Foundation

Religion in the United Kingdom
Diversity, Trends and Decline

By Vexen Crabtree 2012

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#agnosticism #bahá'í_faith #beliefs #buddhism #christianity #druidism #france #heathenism #hinduism #humanism #islam #jainism #jedi_knights #judaism #no_religion #paganism #pantheism #rastafarian #religion #satanism #scientology #sikhism #spiritualism #taoism #UK #UK_religion #wicca #zoroastrianism

With over 170 distinct religions counted, the religious make-up of the UK is diverse, complex and multicultural. The 2011 Census shows that minority and alternative religions are steadily growing, as is Islam. Less than half of the British people believe in a God and from 2009 the annual British Social Attitudes results has revealed that over 50% of us say we're not religious1 and a 2014 YouGov poll saw 77% of the British public say they're not very, or not at all, religious2. Comprehensive professional research in 2006 by Tearfund found that two thirds (66% - 32.2 million people) in the UK have no connection with any religion or church3.

However people continue to put down what they think is their "official" religion on official forms. As a result of this Census Effect in the 2011 National Census, 59.3% of us put their religion down as "Christian"4. Half of those who say they have no religion to pollsters still put one down on the 2011 Census. Even despite this, Christian numbers are substantially down from the 2001 figure of 72%. Religion in Britain has suffered an immense general decline since the 1950s. Between 1979 and 2005, half of all Christians stopped going to church on a Sunday. Four in five britons want religion to be private, not public, and have no place in politics5. All indicators show a continued secularisation of British society in line with other European countries such as France.

2011 Census4Adherents%
Christianity33 200 00059.3%
No Religion14 100 00025.1%
Islam2 700 0004.8%
Hinduism 817 0001.5%
Sikhism 423 0000.8%
Judaism 263 0000.5%
Buddhism 248 0000.4%
Jedi Knights 176 6320.3%
Paganism 57 000
Spiritualism 39 000
Agnosticism 32 382
Jainism 20 000
Humanism 15 067
Wicca 11 766
Ravidassia 11 058
Rastafarian 7 906
Heavy Metal 6 242
Bahá'í Faith 5 021
Druidism 4 189
Taoism 4 144
Zoroastrianism 4 105
Scientology 2 418
Pantheism 2 216
Heathenism 1 958
Satanism 1 893
... view full list and compare to the 2001 Census

1. Organized Religion in Britain

#christianity #judaism #UK

This secular majority presents a major challenge to churches. Most of them - 29.3 million - are unreceptive and closed to attending church; churchgoing is simply not on their agenda.

Tearfund (2007) on 2006 research3

The primary social research tool in Britain is the British Social Attitudes Survey, an annual mini-census. In 2009 'No religion' was stated by 50.7% of the UK population1. Comprehensive professional research in 2006 by Tearfund found that two thirds (66% - 32.2 million people) in the UK have no connection with any religion or church3, a figure which meshes perfectly with another poll in the same year that saw 63% say they are not religious 6. A decade ago, headcounts revealed that just over 6% of the population go to church on a Sunday7 (for every 6 who do, 94 do not). In 2003 August, only 18% of the British public said they were a practicing member of an organized religion, 25% they were members of a world religion8. According to these results, one fifth of self-declared members would also not describe themselves as actually practicing that religion.

One single fact can be found in all of the statistics: Britons are mostly non-religious and are increasingly both innocent and ignorant of religion.

The cultural attachment to Christianity in general lives on and Monica Furlong in her year 2000 comprehensive review of the state of English religion summarizes the English in the same way as Grace Davies who wrote "Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging": by saying the English "believe without belonging" to Christianity. That is, many profess belief but do not take part in organized religion. Subsequent scholars (and we will see much supporting evidence below) have doubted whether we believe at all; one said we "don't believe, and don't belong".

In the twenty years between 1980 and 2000 the Church of England suffered a 27 per cent decline in church membership. The Roman Catholic Church suffered a similar decline in the same period in mass attendance. Methodists, Baptists and others suffered decline too, though in all the churches, it must be said, there have been significant successes in certain churches and particular enterprises. The only institutional church which has continued to grow has been the Orthodox Church - Greek and Russian - where demand for churches exceeds supply, mainly because of immigration from Orthodox countries.

There is a rather touching footnote to all this, which is that people questioned about how much they go to church, give figures which, if true, would add up to twice those given by the churches.

"The C of E: The State It's In" by Monica Furlong (2000)11

Belong to a religion and attend services74%71%55%37%31%
Does not belong 3%5%26%31%38%

Source: British Social Attitudes (2006/7)12

Those who 'do not belong' have first shed the practical and theoretical underpinnings of their religion, before finally overcoming social pressure to "state your religion". There are many who are not at the later stages of this secularisation process, so they still say they 'belong', although they are in the process of forgetting & discarding the physical and mental aspects of what they say they belong to.

So why do so many people say they are Christian? Sociologists know that if they count heads and ask about beliefs, more people say they belong to a religion, and say they have the beliefs of a particular religion, than actually do. People over-state their own religiosity; that's why statistics from polls will often give higher percentages of 'believers' than will head-counting and deeper investigations. To read about this, click here: "Institutionalized Religions Have Their Numbers Inflated by National Polls" by Vexen Crabtree (2009).

Year 2000 snapshots:

2. Politics and Religion15


The historical dominance of Christianity power in England led to the full institutionalizing of Christianity. Christianity is the 'established religion' of the UK. Although much of this is reversed - public offices are no longer restricted to members of Catholic or Protestant denominations, some oddities do still remain. For example "the Church of England is required by law to display a complete, accessible Bible in all its places of worship"16. There is no similar law placing requirements on Mosques or Synagogues. Such an outdated law is nowadays considered improper: the state has no right to interfere in such a way. Most of the time the legal entanglement of Church and State involve the former having disproportionate or improper influence on the latter. Bishops still sit in the House of Lords (the UK's second chamber of government) - "Britain is the only country left in the democratic world that allows clerics to sit in its legislature as of right"17. Although there is a long-lasting "disestablishment" movement in the UK, the public do not know enough about religion to be roused to either oppose or support it. The government tends not to devote much time to actively dismantling such apparatus because even though it is an democratic embarrassment, the public themselves don't often notice.

In a 2012 poll conducted by YouGov and BSAS, 81% of the British stated that religion is a private matter, and should be separate from politics (only 6% thought otherwise), and 71% said that religious leaders should not influence the government. Only 7% think that Britain would be a better place if more religious leaders held public office. Battles between Christian powers and democratic propriety have a long history. These links are to another page:

  1. Institutional Biases
    1. Christianity is the UK's 'Established Religion'
    2. The Act of Settlement (1701-present)
    3. Bishops in the UK's Second Chamber (the House of Lords)
    4. Prayers in the House of Lords
    5. Accidental Bias: Cathedrals and National Heritage
  2. Some Legal Cases Where Christians Attempt to Evade Gay Equality Laws in the UK
    1. Christian Institute Defends Two Sefton Council Workers Who Refused to Do Their Job Regarding Same-Sex Adoptions (2003)
    2. Christian Institute Defends Lillian Ladele, Registrar Who Refused to Support Same-Sex Civil Partnerships as Part of Her Job (2005 - 2013)
    3. Christian Legal Centre Defends Gary McFarlane, Relate Counsellor Who Refuses Gay Clients (2007 - 2013)
    4. Catholic Care Seeking Exemption to Equality Laws. Case Rejected by the Courts (2011)

3. Census Results for 2011, and Comparison to 200118

#agnosticism #amish #animism #bahá'í_faith #brahma_kumari #buddhism #chinese_religion #christianity #confucianism #deism #druidism #druze #eckankar #heathenism #hinduism #humanism #islam #jainism #jedi_knights #judaism #mysticism #new_age #no_religion #paganism #pantheism #rastafarian #satanism #scientology #shamanism #shinto #sikhism #spiritualism #taoism #thelema #unification_church #universalism #voodoo #wicca #witchcraft #zoroastrianism

Almost all minority religions that appeared in 2001 and 2011 Census results have grown over the 10 years. Christianity has plummeted, although there is almost universal agreement amongst sociologists that the decline is amongst who have for a long time have not held Christian beliefs - or any other religious beliefs. The decline is caused by people ceasing to put "Christian" because they think it is the right answer; and putting, correctly "no religion" instead.

2001 Census2011 Census4Hover over populations and percentages to view more detail.
Christianity42 079 00019
33 200 000
Belief that a single creator god had a son, Jesus Christ, born to a human mother, and that Jesus' crucifixion by the Romans brings salvation
No Religion9 104 00019
14 100 000
The rise secularisation has seen public and private religion decline throughout the developed world
Islam1 546 626
2 700 000
Strict monotheism taught by Muhammad, the world's 2nd largest religion
Hinduism 552 421
817 000
Cultural religion of India which was historically decentralized and disparate and not a single belief system. Western influence made it into a single religion, an identity which Hindus now accept.
Sikhism 329 358
423 000
Prayer, meditation and self control to become a soldier of God.
Judaism 259 927
263 000
Organized Judaism emerged from Babylonian writings. Belief that God has a special contract with a Hebrew tribe, involving many specific rules of behaviour
Buddhism 144 45320
248 000
The belief that meditation and good living can break the cycle of reincarnation and result in enlightenment
Jedi Knights 390 12719
176 632
A campaign saw many put this down as their religion on the UK census in 2001. Midichlorians exist in all living beings, which create a 'living force' that can be interacted with
Paganism 30 569 57 000Part of the neo-pagan range of religions
Spiritualism 32 404 39 000The belief that the souls of the dead communicate with the living, mostly through Mediums, but, suffered serious credibility problems with the original founders admitted to fraudulently inventing the 'rappings' that formed the communications It is sensible to suspect that some who put this on the Census merely meant to say that they are "spiritual", not that they support Spiritualism.
Agnosticism 14 909 32 382Belief that (1) God, if it exists, is by nature unknowable and will always be unknowable, or, (2) that the individual being asked cannot conclude if god exists or not for lack of evidence one way or the other
Jainism 15 132 20 000Beliefs include non-violence and equality of all living things
Humanism 8 297 15 067An organized form of atheism where moral and ethical goodness is emphasized
Wicca 7 227 11 766Neo-pagan organisation based around reconstructed elements of folklore
Ravidassia 11 058Souls are part of the divine and proper living allows us to realize God
Rastafarian 4 692 7 906God (called Jah) fathered a black Jesus; marijuana use in rituals
Heavy Metal 6 242A campaign saw many heavy metal fans put this down as their religion on the UK census in 2011 Its sudden appearance hints that metallers encouraged each other to put that answer much like Star Wars fandom (and thrillseekers!) put Jedi Knight in 2001. This is not without precedent: recall the popular campaign that saw heavy metal band Lordi win the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 (which normally sees only saccharine pop music).
Bahá'í Faith 4 645 5 021Belief that a series of prophets have come from God, and that Bahá'í is the latest religion founded by God. A liberal offshoot of Islam, but persecuted in Iran
Druidism 1 657 4 189Celtic religion in prehistoric England. Modern reconstructed Druidism is part of the neo-pagan range of religions
Taoism 3 532 4 144A relaxed and peaceful religion based on following and accepting the flow of life
Zoroastrianism 3 738 4 105An ancient dualistic religion from Iran with one good god (Ahura Mazda) and one evil one (Ahriman)
Unitarianism 3 987A liberal and non-Trinitarian Christian church
Scientology 1 781 2 418Derived from the writings of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, a series of practices called Dianetics is used to clear minds of alien influences and attain a state of mental perfection
Pantheism 1 603 2 216God is everywhere, and everything, but is not transcendent and may have no distinct consciousness
Heathenism 278 * 1 958Modern uptake of Nordic religion. Part of the neo-pagan range of religions
Satanism 1 525 1 893An atheist religion that uses dark and evil symbology for self-development and anti-religious purposes - Satan itself is not a real being, just a symbol. Satanism is under-represented in the UK Census; the actual numbers are about double.
Witchcraft 1 276A description of various cultural practices, which are often part of a parent belief system
Deism 639 1 199Belief in a single creator god who is not "personal" and does not have human emotions, and which many believers say does not interact with the world
Shinto 1 075Official collection of practices in Japan, more cultural than religious
Universalism 971 923Belief that all people go to heaven
New Age 906 698A disparate and diverse collection of popular beliefs and practices
Shamanism 650Belief that Shamans need to keep good relations with tribal ancestor spirits for the good fortune of the whole tribe
Traditional African Church 588A range of Churches ranging from mostly Christian, to those mostly encapsulating native African spirituality
Animism 401 541The belief that all objects contain spirits. More a traditional form of belief that a "religion" in the Western sense
Druze 260 515A semi-secretive esoteric religion with features of a Mystery Religion
Occultism 99 502Normally existing within other belief systems, occult systems concentrate on esoteric meanings in texts, often with magical undertones
Unification Church 252 452Sun Myung Moon embodied the Second Coming of Christ, and his commercialist church runs a media empire
Brahma Kumari 331 442This group are preparing to rule the world after a coming apocalypse, and embrace many practices which are now called New Age
Church Of All Religion 70 408
Eckankar 426 379New Age religion, a mix of Sant Mat, Theosophy and Scientology
Raja Yoga 261An astika school of Hindu philosophy based around mastering and quieting the mind, involving meditation
Voodoo 123 208A traditional religion from Haiti with an ethical focus on combating greed and promoting honour
Mysticism 158 204The belief that God is unknowable but accessible, and that doctrinal religion hampers spiritual growth
Thelema 184A magical system of discerning True Will with inspiration from a host of Egyptian gods
Chinese Religion 148 182A varied cultural religion practiced traditionally on a town-by-town and region-by-region basis
Native American Church 234 127Beliefs vary from tribe to tribe and are sometimes noticeably Christian
Confucianism 83 124A collection of ethical and moral teachings
Ancestor Worship 98Belief that good relations need to be kept with tribal ancestor spirits. Often a form of Shamanism
Free Church Of Love 49
Amish 24Peaceful Christian fundamentalist group famous for its rejection of technology and strict adherence to OT and NT laws

Please note that in the 2001 Census, the population was 52.4 million; in the 2011 one it was 56.1 million, which is a 7% increase. Any category in these results that has not grown by 7% has actually shrunk, in terms of its penetration of the populace.

4. Ignorance of Religion

#christianity #islam

The British public, both adults and children, are almost wholly ignorant of the basic facts surrounding Christianity and other world religions. The Ofsted report on Religious Education (RE) in schools (2007) states that there is a problem even with teachers' insufficient knowledge of RE at primary school level21 and likewise with recruiting the correct specialists at secondary school level21. Not many people seem to mind, as religious education is seen as easy, and the lessons themselves often used for discussions of current affairs rather than religious studies. There is a pandemic innocence of knowledge about religion.

Book CoverChildren who do not come from churchgoing homes - as I did not - now grow up largely ignorant of Christian ideas in a way unimaginable half a century ago. [...] The comments about religion by journalists in the press and on television [...] suggest that even the basic Christian ideas are no longer understood by university-educated people, still less by others. Indeed even churchgoers can reveal an ignorance of the main elements of Christian belief.

"The C of E: The State It's In" by Monica Furlong (2000)22

In data revealed in a Mori poll from 2003 Aug, only 55% of the English population could name one of the four Christian gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John). Slightly more, 60%, could name the sacred book used by Muslims: the Qur'an.

Religious education seems all round to be shunned, and this goes hand in hand with the obvious lack of concern the average British person has for religious matters.

When I asked the Very Reverend David Edwards, the author of over thirty books on modern Christianity, for his assessment of the state of spirituality in England, he just told me bleakly that 'The English have lost any sense of what religion is'.

"The English" by Jeremy Paxman (1998)23

5. Belief in God, the Afterlife, Souls and Spiritual Things

5.1. Belief in God


Many large-scale polls indicate that less than half the British public believe in God, with the larger ones showing a rate of 34-35%. Polls of teenagers up to 24 year olds show a lower rate of up to 25%.

DateDetailsBelief in God
2013YouGov poll of 18-24 year olds2425%
201164,000 representative adults polled. 34% believed in a personal (theist) or non-intervening (deist) God, 10% in a generic "higher power"534%
20081000 people were polled both in the UK and the USA and asked "Do you believe there is a God?". Less than 40% in the UK said yes, compared with 80% in the USA.25<40%
200612507 people were polled, finding that only 35% in Great Britain believe in any kind of God or supreme being, compared to 27% in France, 62% in Italy, 48% in Spain, 41% in Germany and 73% in the USA.2635%
2006Poll of 4000 older teenagers in Cornwall found that only 22% could affirm that they believed in God, and 49% said they didn't.2722%
20031001 British adults surveyed8.60%
200355% of the British public do not believe in a higher being28.45% inc. those unsure

If the poll of 4000 year 9 & 10 teenagers27 indicates what the future holds, then we can expect belief in God to continue to fall over the next few decades.

Sociologist David Voas is additionally skeptical even of those who say they believe in God. He says that deeper research reveals that British people's religious believes are not deeply held even when they say "yes" they believe in God, and, such beliefs are rarely acted upon. He says "we cannot conclude from the fact that people tell pollsters they believe in God that they give the matter any thought, find it significant, will feel the same next year, or plan to do anything about it"29.

5.2. Belief in the Afterlife


In 2013, only 33% of the British public said that they believe in an afterlife30. A older poll in 2003 had 52% say they believed in Heaven8. In 2008, under 20% of Britons said they believed in hell25 - down from a 2003 poll that placed that figure at 32%8. If only 33% believe in an afterlife, and yet, 59% of Brits put down "Christian" as their religion in the 2011 Census, it is clear that many as half of all those who say they are Christian are actually wrong or are completely ignorant of even the most basic Christian beliefs.

5.3. Other Beliefs


68% believed in souls in 20038, meaning that there are many spiritualists who are not theists. In 2013, 65% of the populace revealed no belief Satan - but it is still quite surprising that 18% still do31.

Opinion polls in this country do indeed show high levels of belief, but in all sorts of things, including reincarnation (a quarter of respondents), horoscopes (also a quarter), clairvoyance (almost half), ghosts (nearly a third) and so on. It is far from clear that these beliefs make any different to the people claiming them. Research suggests that casual believers even in astrology, for example, which is distinguished by its practical orientation, rarely do or avoid doing things because of published advice. [... It] is a phenomenon one might call 'believing without believing'. Views are uninformed, not deeply held, seldom acted upon, and relatively volatile.

David Voas
In "Public Faith? The State of Religious Belief and Practice in Britain" by Paul Avis (2003)29


6. Church Attendance in the UK

In 2007, Tearfund published the following results of their comprehensive review of British Christian religion in 2006:

One in four of the UK adult population say they go to church at least once a year. [...] 59% never or practically never go to church.

Tearfund (2007)3

Self-disclosure polls of church attendance are generally twice as high as reality. Actual measures of church attendance have shown that Church attendance in 1999 was 7.5%, down from 10% in 1989 and 12% in 1979 (declining by about an absolute 2% per decade). This trend predicts that in 2007, the rate will be close to 6% who attend, not the 10% who think they do according to Tearfund. This estimate was backed up by the English Church Census 2004.

The Christian Research group's fourth English Church Census (2004) is another professional census whose authors have never shied away from reporting honest statistics, no matter how painful they have been for British Christianity. 37500 churches were invited to take part, and about half did. Some stark truths of Church attendance between 1998 and 2005:

"The fastest rates of decline were among Roman Catholics and Methodists; whereas the Pentecostal Churches showed significant growth over the period. As a result, Methodism has dropped to fourth place behind Pentecostalism. If these rates continue, the C of E will overtake the RC Church within the next four years"34.

"London has 11 per cent of all churches in England, and 20 per cent of all churchgoers. It has 53 per cent of all English Pentecostalists, and 27 per cent of all Charismatic Evangelicals. Also, it caters for 57 per cent of all worshippers in their 20s. "I couldn't believe that figure myself, and had to check it again," said Peter Brierley, the director of Christian Research"34.

7. Some Minority Religions in Britain

7.1. Heathens

Interestingly, the 2001 Census officials included "heathens" in the "no religion" category. Heathenism is a set of distinct religious beliefs, one of the religions generally called Pagan, along with Druidism, neo Paganism and Wicca. Although some may put heathen when they do mean "no religion", some will not. I do not know if it is more correct to list Heathens as "no religion" or "other religion". Asatru, Odinism and other Northern religions are likely to have followers who identify themselves as heathens. So, like you get Christians who are Protestant and Catholic amongst others, you also get Pagans who are neo Pagan, Wicca, etc, and Heathens who are Asatru, Odinists, etc. Listing these as non-religious is probably a mistake, unlike the Jedis.

Book CoverThe main spiritual paths of Paganism to be found in the UK and the United States are Wicca, Druidry, Shamanism, Goddess Spirituality, Sacred Ecology, Heathenism and various magical groups.

"Pagan Pathways"
Graham Harvey & Charlotte Hardman (1995)35

During email correspondence, the Office for National Statistics revealed further information about the 'Heathen' category. They said: "Responses of "Heathen", with a number of other responses that either indicated no clear religion or faith, or where there was some ambiguity in the term written in, were put in the category of 'No religion'. There were less than 300 people included in this way in the 'No religion' category".36

7.2. Jedi Knights


The UK Census of 2001 saw 390 127 people put down "Jedi Knight" as their religion - that's 0.7% of the population37,38. This resulted from an internet campaign that preceded the Census39,38. An urban myth had developed that this many votes would make Jedi an "official religion", however this is not true, as the UK is a secular country and there is no such thing as a government-wide list of "official religions"40. The UK's Office for National Statistics concluded that this was a parody (a joke) and included those who wrote Jedi Knight in the "no religion" category41,42.

Just over 390,000 of the 52,000,000 people in England and Wales wrote in 'Jedi' on their census form. The 'Jedi' response was most popular in Brighton and Hove, with 2.6 per cent of Census respondents quoting it, followed by Oxford (2.0 per cent), Wandsworth (1.9), Cambridge (1.9), Southampton (1.8) and Lambeth (1.8).

It was least popular in Easington, on the north-east coast of England between Sunderland and Hartlepool, where it was quoted by only 0.16 per cent of respondents. Sedgefield, Knowsley, Blaenau Gwent, Merthyr Tydfil and Wear Valley all show less than 0.2 per cent of respondents quoting 'Jedi'.

Office for National Statistics (2001)43

The campaign was not maintained, and in 2011, less than half of the total number put down "Jedi Knight" as their religion - 176 632 people.

"The Jedi Knight Religion, Inspired by Star Wars (Jediism): 1. Jedi Knights in the UK" by Vexen Crabtree (2015)

More: "The Jedi Knight Religion, Inspired by Star Wars (Jediism)" by Vexen Crabtree (2015)

7.3. Satanists

#atheism #christianity #UK

1893 Satanists were counted in the UK's National Census of 2011 despite "extensive coverage in the media"44 which make some suspect that numbers are higher. The number of Satanists is notoriously difficult to estimate. Most Satanic groups are informal, temporary and ad-hoc (so 'congregation' numbers cannot be counted), and the mainstream Church of Satan does not publish membership numbers. Also, many Satanists are not members of the Church of Satan. Hence, estimates of numbers of Satanists have varied wildly according to authors' imaginations and paranoias. In 2001 and 2002 I enquired at London Satanists meetings and found that only half identified themselves as a Satanist on the census. Others put "atheist" or even Christian denominations as their religion. This is a significant under-representation. As 1525 were counted in the 2001 Census, an estimate of 3050 seems sensible. Now in 2011, with slight growth in terms of percent of the population since 2001, an estimate of 3850 seems sensible45.

"How many Satanists are there in the UK?" by Vexen Crabtree (2012)

7.4. Wicca and Paganism

#UK #USA #wicca #witchcraft

2011 Census4Adherents%
Wicca 11 766
Witchcraft 1 276
Total: 13 0420.02
Compare full list to 2001 Census

Pagans, Wiccans and "Witchcraft" folk together make up over 70 000 people in England and Wales, according to the 2011 Census results. These minorities are not readily discriminated against in the UK as they are in some countries such as the USA. Maybe this acceptance comes from the UK's longer history with modern Paganisms. Professor Hutton states that it is 'the only religion which England has ever given the world':

Book CoverThe unique significance of pagan witchcraft to history is that it is the only religion which England has ever given the world. The English have always developed their own distinctive versions of other religious systems ever since their state acquired an identity, but this is the first which has ever originated in it, and spread from there to many other parts of the world.

"The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft" by Ronald Hutton (1999)46

8. Faith Schools

#education #faith_schools #religion #sectarianism #UK

The following is the final summary on my text on faith schools in the UK, the full text delves into many of the issues introduced below:

In 2001 there were 7000 state faith schools in England (of 25000). The worst teach creationism/intelligent design and some, although they excel at religious education and Koranic studies, fail on everything else from science to fitness. Faith schools on the whole take in far fewer poor pupils and fewer of those with special education needs than do non-religious all-inclusive schools. Conversely, faith schools tend to select better-educated and more well-off pupils. Reports on the race riots of 2001 criticized faith schools for creating the segregation that increases racial and religious sectarian tensions. Over 800 studies by social psychologists have found that cooperating and extended contact between racial groups is a very good way of producing positive race relations. Faith schools sometimes produce better-than-average results, but they also select students based on ability (despite attempts to stop that), whereas state schools accept poorer students in the first place. The Home Office, National Union of Teachers, Chief Schools Inspector, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers have all spoken out against faith schools. The United Nations Human Rights Commission and the European Union's Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia both recommend non-sectarian education, especially of children, as a means to reduce intolerance. The National Secular Society has long campaigned for the government to reverse the creation of faith schools (100 new ones since 1997), and instead convert faith schools back into all-inclusive secular schools where religion and race do not define the children. Abolishing faith schools will decrease social tension between ethnic and religious groups, increase the fairness of the schools system (as religious schools accept fewer poor and disadvantaged students), and reduce the scope for religious extremism and indoctrination.

"Faith Schools, Sectarian Education and Segregation: Divisive Religious Behavior (UK Case Study)" by Vexen Crabtree (2010)

9. Church of England

9.1. Did the English Ever Belong in Church?


The English have produced world-class religious clerics and scholars. Universities and Christian centers of learning proliferated in England. However the depth of the religious convictions of most Christians is seriously questionable. From historical "Celtic Christianity" to the modern-day liberal Church of England, many have questioned whether Britains now, or our ancestors in the past, ever really took to Christianity the same as others and whether or not we really were ever in sync with the rest of the Christian East. Jeremy Paxman in his book studying English personality, history, religion and identity, comments:

Book Cover[In history, the English] were not in any meaningful sense religious, the Church of England being a political invention which had elevated being 'a good chap' to something akin to canonization. On the occasions when bureaucracy demanded they admit an allegiance, they could write 'C of E' in the box and know that they wouldn't be bothered by demands that they attend church

"The English" by Jeremy Paxman (1998)47

Paxman observes that the Church of England is how it is because "that is how the English like their religion - pragmatic, comfortable and unobtrusive". Although in recent years evangelical, extreme and fundamentalist Christianity has been slowly catching on. However the Church of England still remains a "power" within the UK, which can exert pressure through the media. It is still given press attention although there admittedly more scandal and shock, than awe or reverence.

The only sensible conclusion to draw from the uniquely privileged position of the Church of England - its official status, the bishops' seats in the House of Lords, the Prime Minister's right to appoint senior clerics and so on - is not that it represents some profound spirituality in the people, but that it suits mutually convenient purposes for state and Church

"The English" by Jeremy Paxman (1998)48

The absolute, institutionalized and symbolic strength of the Church of England has disappeared. The history of the English finding their identity after the two world wars is a history of the realisation that there is no Christian Britain. The Church of England, as the following mass of reports, stats and charts show, has recovered from its historical hollow bloat: The bubble of English commitment to a Christian Church has popped.

It is not exaggerated to conclude that between 1960 and 1985 the Church Of England ... was effectively reduced to not much more than half its previous size.

"Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging" by Grace Davie (1997)49

The number of people who say they are members of the state religion has dropped by 40% since 1983, according to a poll by the National Centre for Social Research (NCSR).

UK is 'losing' its religion BBC News (2000)14

The Church of England is between a rock and a hard place, and there are bitter pills to be swallowed. The most painful fact with which it has to deal (along with other churches) is the all-round drop in numbers: churchgoers, those on the electoral roles, numbers of baptisms, confirmation, church weddings - all have dropped steadily since the 1930s, with consequential loss both of morals and of income. Much is made of the increase in the numbers of ordinands (those training for the priesthood), but this, the only good news on the table at the time of writing, seems an odd criterion of renewed life - many chiefs and few Indians will scarcely solve the problem.

"The C of E: The State It's In" by Monica Furlong (2000)50

Book CoverA report on youth published for the General Synod Board of Education in 1996, which says that 'the total Sunday attendance at Anglican Churches amongst 14- to 17-year-olds is 60,739', a drop of 34.9 per cent since 1987. [...] If the same rate continues to apply, there may be no young people at all in the Church in twenty years time. The report goes on to say that this does not just apply to church services - a similar drop has also been observed in church organisations.

"The C of E: The State It's In" by Monica Furlong (2000)51

The following charts and data show a consistent decline across several decades. Most data show a peak in the 1930s of Church membership and participation. The decline from then to the 1960s was marked, but slow. The decline since the 1960s has been rapid and shocking. The 90s saw the rate of decrease begin to decrease. I believe that the data of the next decade or two will show us the true numbers of Church of England affiliation. What I see is that a bubble has burst: The public are no longer deferring to the Church of England. As a result, stats have dropped sharply as this change in behaviour occurs. We will now see real participation data! We will also see a continued genuine decline in numbers.

9.2. The Financial Situation of a Doomed Church

Between 1990 and 2001, the Church [of England] lost 18% of its Sunday communicants, 17% of its clergy (none of them bishops) and 1% of its buildings. The Church Commissioners' gradually shrinking endowment of £3.5 billion, is about half the value of, say, Yale University's investments. [...] Last year, 70% of gross endowment income went on paying pensions alone. [...] Donations per head have increased steeply in recent years, in part because the disappearance of working-class believers has left congregations older and wealthier

The Economist (2003)52

The overall picture is of a Church that has lost most its membership and is losing the rest. Its financial situation is poor and getting worse, with a top-heavy organisation with less and less income for more and more pensioners. This is a bleak picture, and I do not know that anything will reverse it. The Churches financial hope is that all the pensioners die before the Church Commissioners' funds dry up completely. Drastic measures yet to be introduced, but which I expect, is a culling of bishops and staff. I do not foresee much building-selling as there are not many buyers who can do anything with old, semi-derelict Churches or huge Cathedrals! The government, in the future, will need to step in and take ownership or control of decaying Church buildings (for demolition & conversion to useful buildings?) as the Heritage Fund cannot cope (and wouldn't be justified) in paying the costs associated with maintaining these anachronistic structures. It is difficult to imagine that the Church hierarchy is unaware of the risk - but in 2015 Jan two archbishops still felt the need to warn the ruling Synod of the situation:

The Church of England will no longer be able to carry on its current form unless the downward spiral its membership is reversed "as a matter of urgency", the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have warned. [...] Dwindling numbers in the pews will inevitably plunge the Church into a financial crisis as it grapples with the "burden" of maintaining thousands of historic buildings, they insisted.

The Telegraph (2015)53

10. Sunday Attendance (1989-2005)

Total Change
Roman Catholics (England) 1 703 800-3.2% 1 217 800-4.2%875 600-49%
Church of England 1 260 800-2.6% 975 900-1.6%867 400-31%
Pentecostals 236 700-0.1% 214 600+4.9%287 600+22%
Methodists 512 300-2.9% 379 700-3.4%289 400-44%
Baptists 270 900+0.2% 277 600-1.2%254 800-6%
New Churches 167 000+2.2% 200 500-1.2%183 600+10%
Independent Churches 298 500-4% 191 600-0.2%190 500-36%
United Reformed 149 300-2% 121 700-6.2%69 900-53%
Total of above:4 599 300 3 579 4003 018 800-34%

The Christian Research English Church Census, 20057

National Attendance
1979  12%[54] -0.20/year
198910%[54] -0.28/year
199807.5%[7, 32]-0.17/year

These figures only reflect Sunday attendance; some denominations and churches have experienced increased numbers mid-week, but only involving small numbers compared to the overall decline.

11. Membership of Christian Churches (1975-2010)

Christianity sees continued massive losses in church membership decade by decade


During the period depicted on the chart above, UK population increased from 56 million to 63 million, with a reduction of church membership dropping from 18% to 12% of the total population.

From 2002 onwards, the Electoral roll has included those registered in Europe, which have numbered around 10,000 people.

A key element in the fall of church membership which started in the 1950s was an alarming failure to recruit even the offspring of adherents... between the mid-1950s and 1980, the number of Church of Scotland Sunday-school pupils almost halved, and a spectacular fall in church baptisms followed; between 1967 and 1982, they fell by half in the Church of Scotland and by almost 40 per cent in the Catholic Church.

"A Social History of Religion in Scotland since 1730" by C. Brown (1987)56

12. Ministers (1975-1992)

19751980198519901992 % female20022012
Anglican15 91114 65414 06414 13713 920 (5.9%)11 5225711 37557
Baptist2 4182 4692 6482 8032 936 (2.9%)
Independent1 5751 4832 0222 7862 903 (2.3%)
Methodist2 7262 6322 6172 6682 657 (9.3%)
Orthodox126160187241249 (0.0%)
Other1 8841 8501 9222 3242 321 (45.4%)
Pentecostal1 6052 2432 5803 3593 462 (15.4%)
Presbyterian3 7763 6323 4123 1593 060 (10.3%)
Roman Catholic8 8928 8548 4087 9807 798 (0.0%)

Total38 91337 97737 86039 45739 306 (7.9%)

The turn of the century has seen a decline in the numbers of clergy, though there has been a recent small upturn. By the year 2000 the Church [of England] will have around a thousand less clergy than it had in 1980 - around ten thousand.

"The C of E: The State It's In" by Monica Furlong (2000)58

The Church [of Engand ...] could face a dramatic shortage of priests within a decade as almost half of the current clergy retire, according to the Most Rev Justin Welby and Dr John Sentamu.

The Telegraph (2015)53

It has been pointed out in multiple sources that British clergy have a peculiarly non-religious nature. G. K. Chesterton, writing from within Catholic and Anglican communities, writes lightlheartedly that:

We all feel angry with an irreligious priesthood; but some of us would go mad with disgust at a really religious one.

"What's Wrong with the World?" by G. K. Chesterton (1900)59

13. Churches | Congregations (1975-1992)

(denominations in 1992)19751980198519901992
Anglican (7)19 78319 36618 89218 34018 236
Baptist (9)3 6193 3443 3753 6273 614
Independent (27)4 5364 6115 3315 9325 898
Methodist (6)9 0668 4927 9547 5917 401
Orthodox (19)135150179207218
Other (43)1 9922 0041 9982 0642 148
Pentecostal (69)1 6551 9352 0412 1432 215
Presbyterian (13)6 1775 8975 6505 4895 450
Roman Catholic (15)4 1044 1324 2224 2974 290

Total51 06749 93149 63249 69049 470

14. Religious Adherents (1975 to 2001)

(in millions)197549198049198549199049199549200142
Trinitarian Churches:
Roman Catholic5.
Church Of Scientology0.
Total Trinitarian38.237.937.837.937.642.1
Total non-Trinitarian2.
Total Religious40.240.440.841.341.345.1
% population Trinitarian686767666471.6
% population Other45567

Total %727272727177.2

Davie (1997) provides most of the historical data, but, I am not sure that her "Trinitarian" is exactly equal to the 2001 Census' "Christian" category. There are certainly non-trinitarian Christians. Nonetheless, I have transpositioned the numbers of 'Christians' in the 2001 column for ease of comparison. More importantly, the Census would have been a radically different context for people to answer as to their religion.

15. Percentage Rate of Change Per Year (1975-1995)

of members
of members
of ministers
of ministers
of churches
of churches
Roman Catholic-2.6-2.4-1.1-1.9+0.6+0.5


16. Percent of Anglican Baptisms of Newborn (1885-2010)

190065.060, ,60
1930 (peak)69.960
195067.260, ,49
196055.460, ,61, ,49
197046.661, ,49

The decline in this number from the 1930s was slow, from a peak of about 70%, but the decline in the number of Anglican baptisms from the 1950s has been rapid. In the 1990s, 3 out of 10 newborns have been baptised and by 2010, only 1 out of 10. Infant baptism has always been an important source of recruitment for Anglican churches, the slight increase in child and adult baptisms has not made up the numbers.

The Pagan Federation offers baby blessings, as does The National Secular Society and the Family Covenant Association. So worried is the Church of England, that in 1999 we saw a Church offer its own version for newborns with parents who are not religious.

Terry Sanderson, a spokesman for the National Secular Society, said the church seemed to be losing its "core business", - the "hatch, match and dispatch" trilogy of births, marriages and deaths. He said: "People want to welcome their child into the world without welcoming them into the church.

BBC News (1999)63

17. C of E Confirmations (1900-2010)

YearDavie 199749Wilson 1966
1930 (peak)31.3
1960 (peak)31.531.5

The percent of 15 year olds confirmed in the Church of England has never been much more than 30% of the population of England. Between 1960 and 1982 the actual number of confirmations taking place each year declined by more than 50%. It's not just that people are being confirmed at an older age. Total confirmations in the age group 12 to 20 years have also decreased from the 1960s60. In 2010 the total number of confirmations was 22,093, down 3,000 from 200962.

C of E Confirmations, thousands62

18. Church of England Colleges and Schools (1910-1977)

YearSunday School Teachers
1910206 000
1920171 000
1930163 000
1939127 000
195398 000
196085 000

Bryan Wilson 1966

1961261 663

Davie 199749

19. Special Events - Easter, Christmas and Marriage64

These graphs are from data published by the Church of England which show the percent of the total population of England and Wales involved. The marriages graph has "Anglican" mean "Church of England" or "Church of Wales", and also shows the % as the total population of England and Wales (excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands).62 You might expect that the National Secular Society would have found statistics that show lower attendance, therefore supporting their cause that organized religion should not be an official part of public politics. However in 2011 they commented on Christmas attendance and state higher values65. They mention that surveys before Christmas in 2010 saw about a quarter of respondents say that they were going to go to Church over Christmas, but, actual counts of attendance shows that only 11% did, which is less than half of those who said they would. This is very similar to the phenomenon by which in official polls, about twice as many say they are religious as actually are. See "Institutionalized Religions Have Their Numbers Inflated by National Polls" by Vexen Crabtree (2009). The Church of England think that just over 2% of the population attended Christmas or Easter in Church in 2010.


England Cremation Rates (%)
Source:Grace Davie 1997Cremation Society
1930 0.87
1939 (WW2)3.83.51
19457.8 7.80
1950 15.59
1960 34.70
196650 46.89
1970 55.41
1980 65.26
199170 69.54


20. Percent Cremated in the UK (1884-2011) and of % of Funerals that are Church of England

From 1939 cremation rapidly overtook religious coffin funerals as the preferred postmortem arrangement for bodies. England was the first Western country to adopt cremation as widely. Secular government should rightly have control over such matters as it is wrong to force particular rituals on a populace consisting of multiple faiths and varied beliefs.

England has acute problems with space to bury the dead, most formal burial grounds are full and rotate slots, smashing the bottom of old coffins and putting new ones on top. There are few other options, as such, religions that have impractical dogmas telling people how they should behave towards the dead have become obsolete and largely ignored by many, especially professionals.

"Approaching Death: Some Instincts of the Human Animal" by Vexen Crabtree (2014)

Deaths (thousands) and % C of E Funerals62

Current edition: 2012 Dec 12
Last Modified: 2016 Oct 18
Second edition 2007 Jul 05
Originally published 2000 Apr 26
Parent page: United Kingdom: National Successes and Social Failures

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References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

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The Economist. Published by The Economist Group, Ltd. A weekly newspaper in magazine format, famed for its accuracy, wide scope and intelligent content. See for some commentary on this source..

The Guardian. UK newspaper. See Which are the Best and Worst Newspapers in the UK?. Respectable and generally well researched UK broadsheet newspaper..

New Scientist. Magazine. Published by Reed Business Information Ltd, London, UK. UK based weekly science news paper (not subject to scientific peer-review though).

Avis, Paul
(2003, Ed.) Public Faith? The State of Religious Belief and Practice in Britain. Published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, UK.

Bruce, Steve
(1996) Religion in the Modern World: From Cathedrals to Cults. Paperback book. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

Chesterton, G.K.. Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936).
(1900) What's Wrong with the World?. E-book. Amazon Kindle digital edition.

Crabtree, Vexen
(2009) "Institutionalized Religions Have Their Numbers Inflated by National Polls" (2009). Accessed 2017 Dec 24.
(2011) "Anti-Religious Forces: Specific Factors Fuelling Secularisation" (2011). Accessed 2017 Dec 24.

Currie, Gilbert and Horsely
"Churches and Churchgoers" (1977). Via a source that I have neglected to record.

Davie, Grace
(1997) Religion in Britain since 1945: Believing without Belonging. Paperback book. Originally published 1994. Current version published by Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, UK.

Furlong, Monica
(2000) The C of E: The State It's In. Paperback book. paperback first edition, 2000. Originally published in UK in 2000 by Stoughton.

Harvey, Graham & Hardman, Charlotte
(1995) Pagan Pathways. Paperback book. 2000 edition. Originally published 1995. Current version published by Thorsons.

Hutton, Ronald
(1999) The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft. Paperback book. 2001 edition. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

NSS. The National Secular Society, London, UK.
Newsline. Weekly news letter. See: "Secularism" by Vexen Crabtree (2011).

(UK government 's Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills) "Making sense of religion" (2007). Report published 2007 Jun by Ofsted, London, UK. Accessed 2007 Jul 02.

Paxman, Jeremy
(1998) The English. Paperback book. Published by Penguin Books.

Wilson, Bryan
(1966) Religion in Secular Society. Paperback book. 1st edition. Published by Penguin Books.


  1. British Social Attitudes Suvey results from 2009, published 2011 Jan. URL accessed 2011 Jan 26.^^
  2. You Gov poll results, published 2014 Apr 23.^
  3. Tearfund research, "Churchgoing in the UK" 2007 Apr 03. The survey involved 7000 UK adults aged 16 or over, interviewed between 8th February to 5th March 2006.^^^
  4. Office for National Statistics (ONS) "Religion in England", analysis of the 2011 National Census data, covering England and Wales. Published 2012 Dec 11 on URL accessed 2012 Dec 11. For pre-publication of datsets for minority religions, I have used the data published by The Guardian on accessed 2012 Dec 11.^^^
  5. A poll of 64,303 representative British adults carried out by the YouGov pollsters in collaboration with Cambridge University's Department of Politics and International Studies. Reported in National Secular Society newsline (2011 Sep 23).^^
  6. The Guardian (2006 Dec 23) article "Religion does more harm than good - poll", at URL,00.html. "ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,006 adults aged 18+ by telephone between December 12 and 13. Interviews were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules".^
  7. The Christian Research English Church Census 2005, accessed 2006 Sep 23.^^^
  8. Mori poll results 2003 Aug 08-17. Poll data:, and a summary:^^^^
  9. National Secular Society newsletter, 2007 Sep 14.^
  10. The Huffington Post (2014) article "Half Of Brits Say Religion Does More Harm Than Good, And Atheists Can Be Just As Moral" published 2014 Nov 03. Exclusive HuffPost UK poll of 2004 people, conduncted in 2014 Oct. Accessed 2014 Nov 03. Added to this page on 2015 Jan 25^
  11. Furlong (2000) p216-217.^
  12. British Election Studies, in British Social Attitudes 2006/2007, p9. National Center for Social Research. Added to this page on 2007 Jul 19.^
  13. Belonging to a religion: Social Trends 32 by ONS.^
  14. BBC News (2000 Nov) "UK is 'losing' its religion".^^
  15. Added to this page on 2015 Jan 17.^
  16. The Economist (2008 Dec 20) article "William Tyndalle" p60.^
  17. National Secular Society newsline (2007 Jul 07).^
  18. Added to this page on 2012 Dec 12.^
  19. Office for National Statistics 2001 April Census summary of religion in Britain released 2003 Feb 13.^
  20. The Telegraph (2004 Dec 13) "Spiritual Britain worships over 170 different faiths", by Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent.^
  21. Ofsted (2007). Point 45, 60-64.^
  22. Furlong (2000) introduction p3.^
  23. Paxman (1998) p105.^
  24. YouGuv poll results published, British Youth Reject Religion (2013 Jun 24). Added to this page on 2015 Jan 25^^
  25. The Economist (2008 Mar 29) article "Anglo-Saxon attitudes" contained graphical representation of poll results, making precise values hard to discern. Added to this page on 2008 Apr 28.^^
  26. Financial Times/Harris Poll conducted in the USA and five European countries (France, Italy, Germany, Great Britain and Spain) between November and 15th December 2006. & 2006 Dec 22 National Secular Society newsline.^
  27. National Secular Society newsline (2006 Aug 18). Survey conducted by Dr Penny Jennings, a Research Associate at the Welsh National Centre for Religious Education, University of Wales, Bangor, questioned 3,826 students from Years 9 and 10 coming from 24 out of the 31 secondary schools in Cornwall.^
  28. 2002 Oct 21. Added information from a poll carried out by New Scientist of the British public, and quoted by BBC News. At the time of writing the poll has not appeared on the New Scientist website as their archive is down.^
  29. David Voas, author of chapter "Is Britain a Christian Country?" in "Public Faith? The State of Religious Belief and Practice in Britain" by Paul Avis (2003), p94-96. David Voas is Simon Research Fellow at the Cathie Marsh Centre of Census and Survery Research, University of Manchester. Added to this page on 2012 Dec 12.^^
  30. YouGov poll for Prospect Magazine. Via National Secular Society website (2013 Dec 12). Accessed 2013 Dec 15.^
  31. YouGov (2013) poll on (2013 Sep 27) accessed 2014 Feb 04.^
  32. National Secular Society newsline, 2006 Sep 22 comments on the English Church Census 2005.^^
  33. The Telegraph (2006 Sep 21), Jonathan Petre comments on the English Church Census 2005.^
  34. Church Times (2006 Sep 22) comments on the English Church Census 2005.^
  35. Harvey & Hardman (1995) introduction p10-11.^
  36. Email dated 2003 Feb 15 received by the organizer of and forwarded on to the uk.religion.pagan newsgroup.^
  37. Office for National Statistics commentary on the 2001 Census; 390,000 Jedis There Are. "The 'Jedi' response was most popular in Brighton and Hove, with 2.6 per cent of Census respondents quoting it, followed by Oxford (2.0 per cent), Wandsworth (1.9), Cambridge (1.9), Southampton (1.8) and Lambeth (1.8)".^
  38. Ethnicity and religion from ONS (PDF includes tables).^
  39. Office for National Statistics commentary on the 2001 Census; Ethnicity and religion (PDF includes tables).^
  40. The misunderstanding stemmed from the fact that if enough people entered the same religion, then the Office for National Statistics creates a lettered code to represent that religion in Census data.^
  41. Office for National Statistics commentary on the 2001 Census; summary of religion in Britain (2003 Feb 13).^
  42. Office for National Statistics 2001 April Census summary of religion in Britain released 2003 Feb 13.^^
  43. 390,000 Jedis There Are from the Office for National Statistics.^
  44. "Spiritual Britain worships over 170 different faiths" article in the respectable British broadsheet The Telegraph (2004 Dec 13) by Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent.^
  45. Arrived at by doubling the official 2001 Census value based on the estimate of only a 50% disclosure rate. For the 2011 figure, I've slightly reduced the doubled figure as the reduce tenure of Christianity makes it more likely that more Satanists are admitting so on the Census.^
  46. Hutton (1999) p.vii. Added to this page on 2008 Oct 20.^
  47. Paxman (1998) p6.^
  48. Paxman (1998) p99-100.^
  49. Grace Davie (1997).^^^^^
  50. Furlong (2000) introduction p1.^
  51. Furlong (2000) p210.^
  52. The Economist (2003 Nov 08) vol.369, issue no.8349.^
  53. The Telegraph news article "Church of England cannot carry on as it is unless decline `urgently´ reversed - Welby and Sentamu" (2015 Jan 12). Accessed 2015 Feb 27.^^
  54. 2000. Accessed 2000.^
  55. (1) Years 1975 to 1992 from Davie (1997). (2) Years 2005-2010 from accessed 2016 Oct 17.^
  56. Brown (1987) in Wolffe (1993). Essay by Callum G. Brown, A Social History of Religion in Scotland since 1730, London, Methven, 1987, pp225-7,288,299-30.^
  57. Church of England report online, accessed 2016 Oct 17.^
  58. Furlong (2000) p140.^
  59. Chesterton (1900) p6. Added to this page on 2016 Oct 17.^
  60. Bryan Wilson (1966)^^
  61. Steve Bruce (1996).^
  62. Church of England Archbishop's Council "Church Statistics 2010/11" on, accessed 2013 Feb 13.^^^^
  63. BBC News (1999 Jul 14) article "UK Church offers atheists 'baby blessing'". Accessed 2002 Feb 09.^
  64. Added to this page on 2013 Feb 22.^
  65. National Secular Society, Newsline (2011 Dec 09) . Added to this page on 2013 Apr 02.^
  66. New Scientist (2011 Aug 13) article "Way to go" p44-47.^
  67. The public commitment to religion in countries worldwide stats compiled by the Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, accessed 2003 Feb 18.
  68. Ethnicity and religion from ONS (PDF includes tables)
  69. 390,000 Jedis There Are from the Office for National Statistics. X

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