- Britons saying they had no religion surpassed those saying they were Christian for the first time. This is not so much a change of individual thinking as a change in generation mix over time, with 40% of those born after 1980 describing themselves as religious compared to 80% of those born before 1939. Australia, France and the Netherlands have been projected (appropriately by US thinktank Pew Research) to lose their Christian majority only after 2050.
- Weekly church attendance drops below one million for the first time.
2011 to 2015. 500 London churches turned into luxury homes. One sold for £50 million in 2013.
Trends. Christmas only parishes for the once a year crowd. A new app with a virtual collection plate.
Maintenance costs. High. York Minster £20,000 per day. Includes a daily rub down with olive oil as protection against acid rain.
Subsidies. To what extent should the state subsidise organised religion. However they are a bastion against social atomisation. Pubs are similarly struggling.
Trussel Trust. This Christian charity distributed 26,000 emergency food packages in 2008/09 and 1.1 million in 2015/16.
Political ramifications. What does all this portend for the monarch as head of the Church and the presence of bishops in the House of Lords.
For a similar review of religion in the US, appropriately by Pew Research, see http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/24/why-americas-nones-left-religion-behind/ which starts as follows: “Perhaps the most striking trend in American religion in recent years has been the growing percentage of adults who do not identify with a religious group. And the vast majority of these religious “nones” (78%) say they were raised as a member of a particular religion before shedding their religious identity in adulthood.”
(With The Economist)