In-person attendance at Church of England churches in decline before pandemic
by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) –
A new report shows that regular personal attendance at Church of England churches began to decline even before the COVID-19 outbreak this year, Christian Today reported Monday. A parallel digital Church report showed that online engagement with Church of England church services has grown significantly.
The 2019 Statistics for Mission report showed that an average of 854,000 people attended Church of England services every week in October 2019, a decline of 2.1% compared to the same time in 2018.
The report found that attendance at yearly Christmas and Advent services remained steady with nearly eight million people attending. More than a million people attended a Church of England Easter service in 2019.
Released alongside the Mission report, the Church’s digital report showed increasing engagement with online services. These events included Bible studies and prayer meetings, Christian Today reports.
Since the pandemic began this year, the Church of England has listed 17,000 online services and events. This figure does not include the national online Sunday service, launched after England went into lockdown. According to the data, around one in five people participating in online services rarely, if ever, went to physical church.
The digital report also shows that Church of England’s apps are popular, having been used over seven million times this year, Christian Today reports.
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