A British Social Attitudes Survey has shown that the Church of England has fewer people identifying as Anglicans than ever thereby raising fears over its future.
According to the data, just 14 per cent of people identify themselves as Anglican. Figures also show that the church no longer reckons with older worshippers to fill the pews.
It reveals that 40 per cent of Britons said they ‘belonged’ to the Anglican faith in 1983. However, as at 2002, it fell to 31 percent and now stands at 14 percent.
The most fall is marked amongst 45 to 54-year-olds. In the group, 35 percent of people identified as Anglican in 2002 but by 2017, it dropped to 11 percent.
“We’ve got every reason to suspect that by and large the young people with no religion today in their twenties and thirties will become, in time, people in their fifties and sixties with no religion,’ said Roger Harding, head of public attitudes at the National Centre for Social Research.
“It suggests that particularly for the Church of England and Church of Scotland, their decreasing numbers aren’t going to be corrected with people getting older. It’s likely that as people get older they’ll continue to have no religion.”
However, the Church of England insisted that young people were still open to faith, and its work was relevant.
“The headline figure here only gives us part of the picture,” Dave Male, the Church of England’s director of evangelism and discipleship, told the Telegraph.
By Ololade Olatimehin