Survey uncovers strong support for English village churches

By on January 1, 2003

London

Village churches in England remain at the heart of their communities, with some attracting as much as 40 per cent of the population on special occasions, a survey has found. In some villages, the Anglican parish church is a magnet at special holidays, even for those who do not belong to the dominant Church of England. “The typical Anglican service in the countryside is an ecumenical affair,” said Rev. Jeremy Martineau, an author of the survey.

He said that support for organized religion was much less strong at other times of the year. The main lesson from the survey was to engage people’s spirituality with more services based on community themes.

Mr. Martineau said the strong support for the church uncovered by the survey exposed the myth that “you need significant numbers to make a proper church.” What mattered was the church as the expression of the community.

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