Thursday, 8 May 2008

CofE 'rubbishes' Christian Research predictions

See this earlier story.

[...] The Church of England moved to discredit the research last night, criticising its methodology and saying the results were "flawed and dangerously misleading".

A C of E spokesman said: "These sorts of statistics, based on dubious presumptions, do no one of any faith any favours.

"Faith communities are not in competition and simplistic research like this is misleading and unhelpful."

The research does not compare like with like, according to the spokesman. The number of practising Muslims, for instance, is based on the number of people who said they were active in the 2001 census.

If the same process were applied to Christians it would give a figure of 20 million active churchgoers, according to Church House, the headquarters of the C of E.

The study used the number of adults on the Church's parish-based formal voting lists as the sole measure of its active "members".

This omitted large numbers who worship every week and are involved in their churches in other ways, according to Church House.

The Rev Lynda Barley, head of research and statistics for the Archbishops' Council, said last night: "There are more than 1.7 million people worshipping in a Church of England church or cathedral each month, a figure which is 30 per cent higher than the electoral roll figures and has remained stable since 2000.

"More are involved in fresh expressions of church and chaplaincies across the country and we have no reason to believe that this will drop significantly in the next decade.

"These statistics are incomplete and represent only a partial picture of religious trends in Britain today." Read more
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