I write this from London on Christmas Eve. The Christmas spirit of Dickens is strong here and there is no shortage of Christmas events. We attended a Christmas Carol service at Trafalgar Square (I would not have chosen 'Shine Jesus Shine' to kick off the singing) and we might attend St Paul's Cathedral this evening. Which is unusual for the group of people we are with - all of them are believers in Christ but none of them attend a regular church service weekly. They are part of a growing segment of Christianity that don't appear on the radar and don't show up on surveys. Like this one just released [click to enlarge]:
Interesting to see in these numbers:
- the rise of Pentecostals, in part due to the number of African immigrants to Britain, and
- The numbers show that Britain now has, for the first time, more Catholic attenders than Anglican, thanks to the large wave of immigrants from Poland and Lithuania.
"The statistics show that attendance at Anglican Sunday services has dropped by 20 per cent since 2000. A survey of 37,000 churches, to be published in the new year, shows the number of people going to Sunday Mass in England last year averaged 861,000, compared with 852,000 Anglicans worshipping". Telegraph
I think we need to take into consideration that many Anglicans and many Protestants of all stripes are finding alternative expressions of church and worship, some of which do not include attending a service in a parish church. It would be an exaggeration to say, as did the Telegraph, that Britain has become a Catholic country.