National Summary for Church of England Attendance for 2020

National Summary for Church of England Attendance for 2020

As expected, many measures of church attendance and participation fell from 2019 to 2020.  

Almost all churches offered in-person worship in October 2020; however, unsurprisingly, attendance was lower than in 2019. Adult average weekly attendance, based on attendance in October, fell by 57%; child average weekly attendance fell by 77%.1 The data suggest that running effective face-to-face children’s ministry was particularly difficult during 2020. Fresh expressions of church (fxCs) were also hard-hit: in October 2020, 5% of churches reported some attendance at in-person fxCs, down from 19% of churches in October 2019.

The total Worshipping Community of regular worshippers was down by 7% compared to 2019. Churches were encouraged to include their regular Church at Home worshippers in their Worshipping Community, to avoid excluding those people who were worshipping entirely at Church at Home services, and those who attended a mixture of in-person and Church at Home services. That so many churches offered Church at Home services helps to explain why the fall in Worshipping Community was much smaller than the fall in in-person attendance.

The number of people on church Electoral Rolls was down by 1% compared to 20192.

Advent and Christmas attendance, and numbers of baptisms and marriages were all, unsurprisingly, much lower in 2020 than 2019.

There was a small reduction in the number of funerals taken by churches, but a large shift in the location of funerals; the number of crematorium/cemetery funerals rose by 48% while the number of church funerals fell by 35%.

Taken from Church of England Statistics for Mission, page 4.