A study to be issued in January says religiosity is in sharp decline in Britain with most of the decline, in level and rate, coming in the established religion, the Church of England.
[M]ost people still say religion helps bring happiness and comfort, and regret its declining influence on modern society.The Archbishop of Canterbury recently blamed the government for the increasing irrelevance of the Church of England.
[The] analysis, to be published in January by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen), looks at the results of 4,486 interviews conducted in the respected 2008 British Social Attitudes survey.
The steepest fall was among those who say they worship in the established religion, the Church of England, down from 40 per cent of those who call themselves Christians to 23 per cent. Official Church attendance figures show that average Sunday attendance was 978,000 in 2007, compared with 1.2m in 1983. Prof Voas said: “The declining Christian share is largely attributable to a drift away from the Church of England.”
At the Guardian, Andrew Brown gives his take on the research, and focusing on these sentences from the research:
the gap between age groups arises not because individuals become more religiously committed as they get older, but because children are less religious than their parents. The results suggest that institutional religion in Britain now has a half-life of one generation, to borrow the terminology of radioactive decay. Two non-religious parents successfully transmit their lack of religion. Two religious parents have roughly a 50/50 chance of passing on the faith. One religious parent does only half as well as two together.