Tuesday, 27 October 2015

State of the Christian English Nation in 2015

These findings are taken from professional research funded by The Church of England and EA and published in: The Talking Jesus Booklet. All references are to those identifying as English or born in England:

Q How many people call themselves Christians? Answer: 57%

Q How are Christians mainly seen by others? Answer: Christians are mainly seen a friendly, caring and good-natured (but not very encouraging or hopeful)

Q How many people call themselves atheists and agnostic? Answer: 21%

Q How many people are active Christians, going to church and praying? Answer: 9% are active Christians

Q How many think Jesus was a historical person? Answer: 60% believe he was a historical person

Q How many know a Christian? Answer: 67%

Q What does ‘Jesus’ mean to most people? Answer: Christianity, God, Religion, Bible and Church rather than love, joy peace and saviour

Q Where do most practising Christian live? Answer: The least concentration of active Christians is in London, East Anglia, West Midlands and North West. There are most active Christians in South East, Kent Sussex, Home Counties, East Midland and North East

Q What professions do Christians cluster in? Answer: Christians particularly cluster in teaching, medical professions and IT. They are working in all professions (almost) including the arts and government - but only at the same rate in the regular population in all other professions.

Q How highly education are Christians? Answer: Exploding the ‘myth’ of Christians being simple or uneducated people, this research finds that incidence of Christians with professions and degrees, is double the rate of the main population, so most Christians are among the highest educated. Of course, there are many Christians who do not have degrees but their incidence is much lower than in the regular population. This either means that Christianity encourages educational pursuits, or that people seeking education are also 'seeking' in relation to Christianity

Q How do most come to Christianity? Answer: Two main routes - the first group tend to come from Christian families and the second group believes ‘over time’. A small minority have visions, or sudden conversions.

Q Do many believe in the Resurrection told in the Gospels? Answer: 17% believe in the literal resurrection as related in the Gospels. Nearly 30% believe in the Bible account but think some aspects are not 'quite accurate'.

Q What are the most effective ways sharing the Christian faith? Answer: The main influences that people report are: good friends, relatives and being taken to a Church service

Q What are the least effective ways of sharing the Christian faith? Answer: people going to weddings and funerals, going to Alpha, Christian media and social media.

Q Who are the least effective at influencing people in the Christian faith via relationships? Answer: Christian leaders, neighbours and workmates.

Interestingly, young people seem more engaged in faith in relation to their own age group than older people below retirement age.

The profile of a typical modern English Christian seems to be:
  • Friendly, caring and good natured
  • Brought up in a Christian family or influenced to become a Christian by a friend or family member. 
  • Slightly more likely to be living in the South East of England, East Midlands or North East (far less likely living in London) 
  • Highly educated to degree or post-graduate level, professional qualifications 
  • Working in the medical profession, teaching or IT.

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