News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Church of England attendance figures are struggling to return to pre-pandemic levels

by Kelly Valencia

Sunday attendance in Church of England churches continued to suffer the effects of the pandemic during 2021.

New data has shown that although attendance to weekly Sunday services and midweek meetings rose sharply in 2021 compared to 2020, figures continue to be well below those in 2019. 

An average of over 600,000 people attended church in 2021 compared to 854,000 in 2019. 

In 2020, 340,000 attended all-age services.

The Statistics for Mission 2021 report also showed the total 'Worshipping Community' - defined in the report as those people attending the church regularly, for example at least once a month - fell from 1,113,000 people in 2019 to 966,000 people in 2021.

The Church of England's Worshipping Community in 2021 was about 1.7 per cent of the population of England. 

Many churches have continued to provide 'church at home' services in 2021, offered online, by phone, post, email, and other means. 

Approximately ten per cent of the members of churches' Worshipping Communities in 2021 were people who were entirely or predominantly church at home worshippers.

The Church of England's national online service averages around 150,000 views a week. 

Author of the report, Dr Ken Eames said the figures showed another "anomalous year" for the Church but expects figures in 2022 to improve. 

"My expectation is that we will see a further return of worshippers to churches in 2022."

"The pandemic continued to have an impact on the life of the Church of England, with some churches being closed for worship for parts of 2021 and some members of congregations continuing not to attend in-person services. It would be very surprising, therefore, if Church of England attendance and participation in 2021 returned to their pre-pandemic levels. 

"This report should be treated as a summary of, indicating the extent to which things have 'bounced back' but noting that further bouncing back is expected," Eames added. 

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email