I am very excited that Christian Research has published Religious Trends online and hope you find it an interesting and useful resource.
Our vision is to bring together facts and figures from many sources, and to paint an accurate picture of the state of religion, especially Christianity, both in the United Kingdom and throughout the world. We offer interpretation, analysis and comment in the articles on this website. If you need more detailed research or access to our source material, some of the articles in Religious Trends offer a gateway to spreadsheets or links to follow for more information.
Religious Trends was originally the statistical section of the UK Christian Handbook, first published in 1972. In 1997 Christian Research first published Religious Trends 1 as a separate book; the latest being Religious Trends 7 in 2007. Today, internet and IT have increasingly become the main tools of researchers and analysts, so we have decided to publish Religious Trends online and make it available as a member or subscriber service.
All articles have been formatted for printing, and most datasets are available as downloads for further analysis. If you wish to use the information in this website, please respect our conditions to reference Religious Trends and, where appropriate, the sources we have used. The Website's terms and conditions are here.
One major benefit of publishing Religious Trends online is that we can and will update figures as they arise, and this will include revisions as needed. We will undertake a major refreshment of the key data annually, for example when denominations publish their annual reports.
We are planning to add more features and articles during 2011, so do check the website regularly. Important additions and updates will be announced in our website news, through our member newsletter In Touch and via emails.
Please help us to develop Religious Trends further by sending your comments and suggestions. We will be pleased to make any necessary corrections and receive your suggestions for other information sources. We'd also appreciate news on how you are using Religious Trends and your views on what you'd like see more of in future.
I would like to thank the editor of Religious Trends, Michael Hudson, who assembled and analysed most of the datasets and wrote several articles; Graham Sharp, who wrote the articles on social interests; Neil Rees (Studge) for his proof reading of Religious Trends and most of all to Ian Wyllie of Exior Limited for developing the website, writing some of the articles and generally giving us excellent support and advice throughout. I am also grateful for the help of many other people and organisations who helped us along the way.
I need also to thank Dr Peter Brierley for the tremendous work on Religious Trends through the years that he was Director of Christian Research. This work was pioneered in times when the analytical tools were more difficult than today’s spreadsheets and applications. Although the medium we now use to publish Religious Trends is different from the book form, the vision is the same. Many, indeed most, of the datasets are continuations of the time series that Peter formulated from Religious Trends 1 onwards.
Benita Hewitt, Director of Christian Research
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