6.02 million regular churchgoers in the UK

In one of the biggest surveys of its kind , with a representative sample of more than 9,600 individuals, child sponsorship charity Compassion UK has found that 11.4% of adults (aged 16+) say they attend church at least once a month. That’s 6.02 million UK adults attending church on a regular basis. Nine percent of those churchgoers say they sponsor a child in the developing world.

Monthly church attendance is lower in Wales (10.9%), but higher in Scotland (13.3%) and Northern Ireland (20.4%). In England, monthly attendance is 10.9% overall, but significantly higher in Greater London (16.3%).

Church of England (30%) and Roman Catholic (30%) were the biggest denominations among regular churchgoers, but ten percent of monthly churchgoers attended a Pentecostal church.

The research also looked at the charitable activities of regular churchgoers. 69 percent had given at least £10 to a charity in the last 12 months. Nine percent of regular churchgoers said that they sponsor at least one child in a developing country.

Sponsorship can mean different things for different charities. Compassion UK directly links a child living in extreme poverty with a sponsor who chooses to support them financially and through regular letter writing and prayer. For just £25 a month, the child is given access to nutrition, health care, education and provided with the emotional and spiritual support necessary to overcome the incredible challenges they face.

Bekah Legg, Compassion UK Media Manager, commented, “These figures are incredibly encouraging. We believe that the church is the hope of the world. It’s why we work in partnership with local churches in some of the poorest nations of the world. These churches are catalysts for change in their community and it is reassuring and exciting to know that the UK church is in a position to play that role in this country too. Six million adults, plus their children, together as church, have the power to change not just their community, but nations.

“We see this happening every day. As individuals and churches work together to support the church in the developing world, we see genuine transformation. So far, just nine per cent of Christians sponsor a child. Our vision is to help the UK church, that 91% who don’t sponsor yet, connect with a child on the other side of the world and release them from poverty.”

Independent research shows that a Compassion-sponsored child will stay in education longer than their peers, is more likely to have a white collared job and become a leader in their community. We know that these leaders are returning to their communities as change makers, giving other children the opportunities to thrive that they have had.



Notes for editors

For more information, photographs and interviews contact Bekah Legg: rebekahl@compassionuk.org 

Compassion is an international child development charity with more than 60 years’ experience working with some of the world’s poorest children. At present more than 1.5 million children attend Compassion’s church-based projects in 26 of the world’s poorest countries.


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