BHA: Low CofE attendance figures show church is no longer truly national

The Church of England has released its 2011 attendance figures today. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has responded by drawing attention to the fact that the figures show that a very substantial majority of people in England have nothing to do with the Church of England and has called for a reconsideration of its privileged legal and constitutional position in light of that fact.

Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive, commented:

'Most people don’t look to the Church of England even at the times of year or times in their life when to do so was traditional even for non-believers. 98% of people don’t go to a Church of England service on an average week and only 5% of people go at the "popular" time of Christmas. 98% of young people are not confirmed, 88% of babies are not baptised, 66% of funerals (and a slightly higher proportion of marriages) are not Anglican. In all these areas, the long-term decline of Church involvement continues.

'In an ideal world, these figures would be of interest only to academics and the church itself but in a country where the church in question has a privileged legal and constitutional position, they must be subject to wider public scrutiny and their implications drawn out. What they show is a church established by national law that has long ceased to be a truly national church. It is about time the legal position caught up with the social reality and the privileged place of Anglicanism and Anglicans was brought to an end.'


For further comment or information contact Pavan Dhaliwal, Head of Public Affairs at or on 0773 843 5059.

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.