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Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

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Church of St Wilfrid, Duncombe Place, York. YO1 7EF

07 September 2017

The Future of the Anglicanism in Britain.

Every year since 1983, an organisation called the National Centre for Social Research has conducted its British Social Attitudes Survey.  In almost every year, it has included a question asking respondents about their religious affiliation.    The most conspicuous trend over the years has been the growth in the proportion of people who say that they do not associate themselves with any religious denomination.  They have grown from 31 percent in 1983 to 53 percent in 2016.

The proportion of the population who describe themselves as being Catholic has remained remarkably constant over the years, at around 9% -  the minor fluctuations being within the margins of statistical error.   Affiliation to the Church of England and other Anglican Churches (ie Scottish Episcopal Church and Church in Wales) has declined fairly consistently from 40% in 1983 to 15% in 2016.  Here are some sample figures:

          Year          Anglican/C of E           Catholic
          1983                  40                             10
          1987                  37                             10
          1991                  36                             10
          1995                  32                              9
          1999                  27                              9
          2003                  27                              9
          2007                  21                              9
          2011                  21                              9
          2015                  17                              9
          2016                  15                              9

I have projected these figures forward a few years.  Although making such predictions is a risky business, the trends are so clear that I am fairly confident about making them.  The figures look like this:

          2017                 14                              8
          2018                 13                              8
          2019                 12                              8
          2020                 11                              8
          2021                 10                              8
          2022                  9                               8
          2023                  8                               8

This would indicate that the Catholic Church will overtake the Anglican Churches as the largest denomination around the year 2023.

Unfortunately, I cannot reproduce the graphical representation here, but I can assure you that it is very convincing.

1 comment:

F Marsden said...

The Catholic proportion has been boosted by large numbers of immigrants- Polish, Filipino, SyroMalabar, Nigerian etc. Had it not been for them, our native Anglo- or Anglo-Irish numbers would have shown a much sharper decline. No room at all for complacency or self-congratulation. Still, the Anglican collapse is scary!