Great Britain is no longer a Christian Nation. This was the home of John Wycliffe, the forerunner of the Reformation; William Tyndale, martyr and Bible translator; John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church; John Knox, founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland; the great writer John Bunyan (Pilgrims Progress, etc.), and others such as Francis Drake, Isaac Newton, Matthew Henry, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Wilberforce and Booth. However, now studies show that the major population of the UK is no longer Christian.
In 2009, the Church of England showed a decline in Sunday attendance and by one report over 30 churches were closing per year. And according to a 2015, UK Express article, Demise of Christianity… “Almost 1,000 of the country’s churches are on the ‘at risk’ register as shrinking congregations struggle to meet the repair costs.” This decline follows decades of loss of membership in the Anglican church (Church of England). According to ChurchofEngland.org “in October 2015, approximately 960,000 people participated in a Church of England service each week… 1 in 4 primarily schools and 1 in 16 secondary schools in England are Church of England schools…”
In a 2011 Census, 59% of the British proclaimed they were Christian. According to the Pew Research Center report Counting Religion in Britain, December 2016, “…more than nine in ten Britons celebrate Christmas;” however, Pew cited a YouGov survey that found that 55% of Brits do not believe Jesus was born to a virgin, 18% did not believe Jesus ever existed, and only 24% believed Christ was born of the virgin Mary.
In a 2013 article by The Telegraph, ‘Christianity declining 50% faster than thought,’ they write, “the 2011 census published last year showed that the total number of people in England and Wales who described themselves as Christian fell by 4.1 million – a decline of 10 percent.”
Moreover the 2011 showed more Muslim children in Birmingham, Leicester, Bradford and in 3 of London’s boroughs. The Woolf Institute, 2013-2015 Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life reported a decline in Anglicans from 44% in 1983 to about 19% in 2014. The Commission, with a majority of liberals, Humanist and non-Christians is pushing from changes in the government ran Church of England; among other things, to fund Muslim Mosques. The Commission’s 144-page report states that in 1983 two-thirds of the people in the UK were identified as Christians, yet now it as about 40%. They report that 26 Church of England bishops sit in the House of Lords, though Anglicans are no longer the majority.
And the non-religious in the UK continue to increase in percentage of population. According to a 2016 article by The Guardian, the NatCen’s British Social Attitudes survey reported that the ‘nones’ in 2014 reached 48.5% outnumbering the Christians at 43.8%. That was up from 46% ‘nones’ in a 2011 BSA study. And in 2016 a BBC News article stated the findings from the Scottish Social Attitudes survey showing 52% of the people are not religious, up from 49% in 1999. And the Church of Scotland membership has fallen from 35% of the population in 1999 to 20% in 2015.
A YouGov questionnaire reveal a more alarming fact in a random survey. In 2015, of the survey’s respondents only 32% proclaimed ‘there is a God;’ and only 1 in 4 between the ages 18 and 39 said the same. By one study Britain in losing about a half a million believers in Jesus Christ and gaining about 700,000 atheists and agnostics.
The Office for National Statistics study 50,000 people in a Labour Force Survey and found that Christians adherents drop 7.6% from 45 million in 2004 to 41 million in 2010; and that non-believers increased 49% over the same period from 9 million to 13.4 million. Jews saw a 1% loss in that period; yet UK’s Buddhist population increase 74% from 2004 to 2010; Hindus increased 43% to about 790,000 and Muslims, 37% to 2.6 million.
In a February 2017 BBC survey by ComRes of 2,010 British adults, only a quarter of ‘Christians’ in Great Britain believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And about 1/5 of their non-religious people stated a belief in life after death.
In July 2017, a Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found that 58% of Scots identified themselves as non-religious, compared to 40% in 1999; and compared to the 54% that stated they where Christians in the 2011 Census (down from 65% in the 2001 Census). Between 1966 and 2006 numbers of communicants in the Church of Scotland dropped from over 1,230,000 to 504,000. And membership reduced from 446,000 in 2010 to 398,389 or 7.5% of the total population by year end 2013.
In 2017 The Guardian presented a reminder in their article, “Nearly 50% are of no religion…” stating “between 1983 and 2015 the proportion of Britons who identify as Christian fell from 55% to 43%, while members of non-Christian religions – quadrupled.”
Because the Church of England is the ‘State Church’ the Queen is currently their ‘Supreme Governor’ though their ‘most reverend senior bishop’ and Archbishop of Canterbury is Justin Welby (2017). Also because the Anglican Church is a state church, it is subject to many Parliament rules; and as to Same-sex marriage, priests are not compelled to marry homosexuals, but it is welcomed and legal to do so by the British government. In 2017, the Church of England clergy at the General Synod are still arguing whether marriage should be only between a man and woman. The last vote was 106 for this biblical definition and 83 against with 4 not knowing what to do.