After decades of decline the church in Britain appears to be growing again, according to an international team of leading researchers. Their report, published last week, indicates that while the media focuses on the many churches which are sadly dying, it fails to recognise how many other churches are growing.
For every congregation that shuts in the UK, a new one is being opened, overflowing with new vision and faith. ‘This is the news we’ve been longing to hear since the first 24-7 Prayer Room in 1999,’ says Pete Greig. ‘It’s not revival yet, there’s still a long way to go, but our prayers are measurably being answered, the tide is turning, and this report is brilliant news not just for the UK but for Europe too’.
The ‘Church Growth in Britain from 1980 to the Present’ report has been compiled by academics at Cranmer Hall, Durham and shows that:
· More than 5,000 churches have been planted in Britain since 1980
· 500,000 Christians attend black-majority churches.
· The Anglican church in London has grown by 70% since 1990.
Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham and a supporter of 24-7 Prayer, endorses the ‘upward trend depicted here with scholarly care’. He adds: ‘Church decline is neither inevitable in prospect nor accurate in retrospect.’, In the UK 24-7 has mobilised 350 prayer rooms already this year through our ‘Kingdom Come’ partnership with Alpha, and we are privileged to hear many incredible stories of people coming to know Jesus as a result.
‘Church Growth in Britain from 1980 to the Present’ has been published by Ashgate and is available from bookshops.