The Church of England is the established church in England. Among other things, this means that:
It is divided into two provinces - Canterbury in the South of England and York in the North, each with its own Archbishop. It is also divided into 43 diocese (44 including the Diocese in Europe).
On average 1.1 million people attended church-based services of worship each week in 2008, slightly under one million of these on Sundays.
In the past, Christian Research has usually reported electoral roll data for Church of England in its Religious Trends publication. There are two issues with relying on this measure.
The figure 'Historical patterns of church attendance' shows the pattern for the 20th century and compares Anglicans with the Roman Catholic church. It shows growth until the 1930s when 3,650,000 people were on Anglican rolls. Numbers then fell and continued to fall until the 1990s when the fall became less sharp.
Similarly, the Church of England statistics office used to rely on estimates of 'usual Sunday attendance' to monitor trends in the church. Lynda Barley, Head of Research and Statistics for the Archbishops’ Council, lead a major review of church statistics to create a measure that was more robust and better suited to church and society in the new millenium. This was launched in 2000.
Measurments are usually based around a four week period in October each year when churches count all their worship activity, including mid-week and weekend worship outside of the ususal Sunday morning.
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