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Who’s There? – Church Army

November 15, 2016

untitledThis looks at the age, gender, and background of those who attend Fresh Expressions of Church (fxCs). In its survey of 66 fxCs in the C of E, 38 per cent of 1997 attendees; in­cluding those who used to belong to another church but left, were not, existing churchgoers. In January 2014, this figure was 60 per cent.

In a related questionnaire, church leaders underestimated by about ten per cent the number of their congregation who had come directly from, and had always attended, another church (59 per cent). This included children who had transferred from, or attended simul­taneously, another church (five per cent).

Of this majority, however, 42 per cent said that they were attending more than one church, compared with ten per cent who had chosen to leave their previous church al­together. This, Canon Lings said, put an end to the “myth” that fxCs mainly “steal” members from traditional church congregations.


If adult churchgoing culture is largely dependent on attending church as children, this culture risked falling into gradual decline with the decline in Sunday School attendance from 1900-2000.1 In 2001, Callum Brown also argued that a churchgoing culture played a significant part in maintaining a Christian identity and moral beliefs. In The Death of Christian Britain, he explored historical documentary evidence to track the nature of Christian discourse from the 1800s demonstrating this culture. He argued that, due to the increased choices available to women from the 1960s onwards, the culture was rapidly dying out, if not dead already. Churchgoing culture had been largely cultivated by women in the home and thus was affected when, with greater access to birth control, women had other paths to choose from than the traditional role of home-maker.

a good reminder that fresh expressions of Church must keep working at missiological effectiveness if they intend the majority of attenders to be from simple de-churched and simple non-churched backgrounds.

The report is available  here

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