Church Services: Attendance

Church Commissioners written question – answered at on 12 April 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien Conservative, Harborough

To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what average weekly attendance was in each year since 1994.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner, The Second Church Estates Commissioner

The National Church Institutions first started collecting attendance data centrally in the autumn of 2000; as a result, it is not possible to publish data for the period 1994-1999. A methodological change also took place between 2000 and 2003 which means statistics for those years are not directly comparable with the data now collected. The data displayed below shows the longest period of comparable figures available, from 2003-2022.

Adult average weekly attendance

Child average weekly attendance

All age average weekly attendance

Adult average Sunday attendance

Child average Sunday attendance

All age average Sunday attendance

Adult average school service attendance

Child average school service attendance

All age average school service attendance

2003

905,000

218,000

1,126,000

802,000

154,000

959,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2004

896,000

220,000

1,119,000

789,000

151,000

942,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2005

898,000

218,000

1,119,000

791,000

147,000

941,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2006

894,000

217,000

1,115,000

786,000

145,000

935,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2007

888,000

205,000

1,097,000

779,000

137,000

919,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2008

877,000

215,000

1,094,000

768,000

139,000

910,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2009

867,000

211,000

1,082,000

758,000

134,000

895,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2010

851,000

208,000

1,062,000

741,000

130,000

874,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2011

840,000

207,000

1,050,000

728,000

127,000

858,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2012

843,000

202,000

1,049,000

733,000

128,000

864,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2013

836,000

157,000

994,000

721,000

124,000

845,000

23,000

103,000

126,000

2014

831,000

144,000

975,000

711,000

119,000

830,000

35,000

113,000

148,000

2015

819,000

140,000

959,000

698,000

115,000

813,000

40,000

131,000

171,000

2016

791,000

132,000

922,000

671,000

108,000

780,000

42,000

139,000

182,000

2017

767,000

127,000

895,000

653,000

104,000

757,000

46,000

152,000

198,000

2018

752,000

120,000

872,000

635,000

96,000

730,000

40,000

137,000

177,000

2019

734,000

120,000

854,000

613,000

94,000

707,000

41,000

141,000

182,000

2020

317,000

28,000

345,000

273,000

24,000

298,000

n/a

n/a

n/a

2021

531,000

75,000

605,000

447,000

62,000

509,000

18,000

71,000

89,000

2022

567,000

87,000

654,000

477,000

70,000

547,000

36,000

128,000

164,000

Attendance figures are collected from churches for the first 4 Sundays of October and in the following Monday-Saturday midweek periods - this exercise is referred to as the "October count”. Figures include attendance at baptisms, as these usually take place in service, but not attendance at weddings and funerals. Attendance at services for schools is NOT included in the average weekly and average Sunday attendance figures but is reported separately.

In 2013, the question was changed to specifically ask about attendance at school services. Prior to 2013, it was apparent that some churches included such attendance in their reported figures while others did not. The change in question during this year resulted in a large change in the average weekly attendance from 2012 to 2013 and a more consistent practice across the church as a whole.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes3 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.