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Church of England weekly service attendance rising, but still below pre-pandemic levels

by Premier Journalist

Weekly in-person church attendance in the Church of England is up for the third consecutive year. Figures from the Church show a five per cent increase last year. 

Weekly attendance by children is also higher - almost six per cent last year, according to an early snapshot of figure from the annual Statistics for Mission.

Though altogether, total attendance at services in church buildings is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Figures show all-age weekly attendance at Church of England churches rose to 685,000 last year, from 654,000 in 2022 which is an increase of 4.7 per cent.  

The number of children attending weekly increased from 87,000 in 2022 to 92,000 (up 5.7 per cent).

Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury said: “This is very welcome news and I hope it encourages churches across the country."

“These are just one set of figures, but they show without doubt that people are coming to faith in Jesus Christ here and now – and realising it’s the best decision they could ever make."

Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York said: “This is very good news. For the first time in a long time we have seen noticeable growth."

“Of course, we don't yet know whether this growth is a trend but I take it as a great encouragement that our focus on reaching more people with the good news of Jesus, establishing new Christian communities, wherever they are."

The full Statistics for Mission report is due to be published in the autumn and is based on information from over 11,000 churches.

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