England and Wales – church attendance
Posted by Fr Mark on September 5, 2009
Decline in Roman Catholic Mass attendance in England & Wales
Catholic Church collapsing
London — The English Catholic bishops have released a study which shows the steep decline of the Catholic Church in England, the greatest crisis in the Church since the 16th century Reformation, religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism). ripped out the Catholic faith during the reigns of Henry VIII and
The report gathered statistics from the period 1963 to 1991, the years following the Second Vatican Council which ended in 1965. At that time England had four million Catholics.
Adult conversions have fallen by 55% and First Communions by nearly 40%. Mass attendance has declined by 40% and Catholic marriages by 60% over the same time period. Recent statistics from 2001 show little improvement. In 1991 Mass attendance in England and Wales stood at 1.3 million; in 2004 it was 960,000 (Zenit, July 2006).
Another survey by the British organization Christian Research, shows that the decline in Mass attendance is continuing, with about 800,000 attending Mass on a regular basis in 2006. Churchgoers are significantly older on average than the British population, and there is a progressive decline in belief as age drops. Less than 10% go to church in the 20-29 age group, and this falls to 5% in the 15-19 group.