The Church Times online has posted a story regarding Dr Stephen Bullivant’s report, Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales. Dr Bullivant is director of the Benedict XVI Centre at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. Although researching Roman Catholics, Dr Bullivant’s report also gathered statistics on other churches for comparison. He gathered the data from the UK’s annual British Social Attitudes surveys.
The research showed very similar results for both Roman Catholics and Anglicans in England & Wales, that the membership of both denominations is almost entirely made of folks born & reared in the church. As you can deduce from this chart from the report (rounding the percentages), of 100 current Anglicans in England & Wales today, 93 were reared Anglican, 5 are from another Christian denomination and 2 are from a non-Christian religion or had no previous religious faith.
The findings also peg Anglicans with almost a 52% retention rate of those born and reared Anglican. Almost 7% have left Anglicanism for another Christin denomination. Less than 1% have left Anglicanism for a non-Christian faith. While 40% currently claim no affiliation to any faith.
Dr Bullivant’s work breaks England & Wales into geographic areas, with different percentages of folks claiming affiliation with a particular faith in each area. The two areas where the largest number of folks claim to be Christian are the southwest and the northeast. There are researchers who would caution the trust one can place in self reported religious affiliation. 60 percent of the folks surveyed in the data used by Dr Bullivant who claimed to be Anglican, also reported never or practically never attending services. However, what is borne out by the research is that the Anglican churches in England and Wales aren’t actively attracting a lot of folks who weren’t born to Anglican families.
The report can be downloaded here.