Conservative Anglican churches have bucked the trend of decline to show an increase in attendance over the past five years.

The Church of England as a whole has seen a seven per cent drop in the number of people at weekly services since 2010. But those churches with more strict teaching on issues such as the infallibility of the Bible, women priests and same sex marriage report a dramatic increase in regular attendance.

Churches with ties to the conservative grouping Reform grew in average weekly attendance at a rate of between three and four per cent year on year for the past five years. This compares to a decline of between one and two per cent yearly across the wider CofE.

They also have typically larger and more youthful congregations. The average weekly attendance for Reform-linked congregations was 99 compared to 40 in the CofE as a whole and only 18 per cent were aged over 70 compared to 30 per cent in the wider Church. CONTINUE READING