In Religious Trends 7 and his book Pulling out of the Nosedive, Christian Research’s former director Peter Brierley made some alarming forecasts of the strength of the Christian Church by extrapolating the trends shown in the data. Whilst there was some optimism in his analysis and some slowdown of the decline in attendances, the indication was still of falling support, and these publications warned the church to act to halt and then reverse the decline. Now there are signs that the church has taken such action.
Statistics derived from a number of the major UK Christian denominations indicate that the numbers of people attending worship are now more stable than during the later years of the last millennium. These statistics contradict the widely-reported view that churchgoing numbers are in a nose-dive and the country is either becoming more secular or ‘fuzzy faithful’ – that is, that people are developing individual spiritual beliefs without joining traditional religious congregations.
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