Rorate Caeli

The collapse of the number of Christians in England and Wales

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From the 2011 England and Wales census data released today, a 12-point fall in only 10 years - and the number of irreligious people nearly doubled in the same period. (Office of National Statistics and The Guardian)
Christian: 2001: 71.7%, 2011: 59.3% (-12.4%)
No religion: 2001: 14.8%, 2011: 25.1% (+10.3%)
Muslim: 2001: 3%, 2011: 4.8%
Hindu: 2001: 1.1%, 2011: 1.5%
Sikh: 2001: 0.6%, 2011: 0.8%
Jewish: 2001: 0.5%, 2011: 0.5%
Buddhist: 2001: 0.3%, 2011: 0.4%
Other religion: 2001: 0.3%, 2011: 0.4%
Religion not stated: 2001: 7.7%, 2011: 7.2%

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Welsh...surprisingly irreligious.

-Alexis

Neil Addison said...

The interesting point for regular readers of this Blog to note is that the decline in Christian belief in Protestant England can hardly be blamed on Vatican 2. That may indicate that the problems that the Catholic Church is having owe more to wider societal changes than they do to the changes of Vatican 2.

Perhaps if we all spent less time arguing about the Council 50 years ago and more time thin thinking about the the next 50 years that would be time more usefully spent

New Catholic said...

The tragic thing is, precisely because there was a Vatican 2, we will never know what would had happened if the Church had stood her ground, as she had for decades, and not tried to "engage" with a world that wants nothing to do with her.

In any event, unfortunately the census numbers do not reveal the details for Catholics.
___

Readers of this blog would surely want nothing more than NOT to speak of Vatican II, Mr. Addison: WE are not the ones doing the talking... We would be glad to let it go...

Texana said...

Thank you NC for your not so common common sense! God Bless!

P Standforth said...

The detailed figures are interesting. Bear in mind that the question on religion was voluntary. Also there was a BHA campaign to push people towards the 'no religion' if they did not practice, as opposed to being 'culturally' christian. Interesting to see that the numbers specifing 'agnostic' or 'atheist' were tiny, as opposed to the 'no religion'. I'd see that as a very big evangelisation opportunity.

L.T.St Aloysius Lovelock-Jemmott said...

The fruits of the Reformation continue to "blossom" and Englishman continue to harp on about the downfall of our land but seem to forget the root thereof is in the loss of The Holy Faith and the embracing of Mammon and heresy ! I do bid for my folk that they shall realise sooner rather than later.

Neil Addison said...

New Catholic said...
Readers of this blog would surely want nothing more than NOT to speak of Vatican II, Mr. Addison: WE are not the ones doing the talking... We would be glad to let it go...


I do have to disagree with you there commentators on this Blog seem to talk about little else but Vatican 2. Can I make it clear for the record that I am no fan of Vatican 2 or the changes introduced in its name but I do feel there is an obsession with the subject by most commentators to this Blog.

I am not Spartacus said...

...if the Church had stood her ground, as she had for decades, and not tried to "engage" with a world that wants nothing to do with her.

Dear N.C. Yes, engaging and/or dialoguing with the enemy is never a good idea (it is, effectively, a surrender of the puissant Triumphalism that defends our Faith) and the world is the enemy of the Church.

I am the same age as Israel and I was learnt that the world (and the flesh and the devil) was our ancient and permanent enemy.

When was the last time anyone heard the Magisterium describe the world as our enemy? Never, that is when.

What we do hear now is that The United Nations - the damn UN - is proposed as OUR moral force in the world. Madness!!!

I used to hear that the world was our enemy at Mass inside Saint Mary's Catholic Church in Springfield, Vermont during Monsignor Nolan's sermons.

But, Monsignor Nolan has long gone to his reward and he was replaced by Fr Smiley and Fr Nice and the only Monsignor Nolans that I know of are members of Traditional Orders.

New Catholic said...

Only in a reactive sense - if it is all that is talked about, one is forced to acknowledge it: for instance, in this "Year of Faith", made in order to celebrate... Vatican II, it is quite understandable that we speak of it repeatedly.

authoressaurus said...

I would also suggest that, human apathy being what it normally is, which is widespread, the currently non-assertive face of - and lack of identity expressed by all denominations of Christianity in the name of a banal and anesthetizing ecumenism, leads many of those who would normally identify themselves even superficially as Christians, to give a non-committal response. This is definitely a fruit of Vatican II.

Alan Aversa said...

http://nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com is a good Church statistics site.

Alan Aversa said...

May God grant us another Pope St. Damasus to clean up this mess instigated by Vatican II-inspired false ecumenism.

May Pope St. Damasus pray for us on this his feast day.

Malta said...

Well, the beautiful thing about VII is to show how Modernists can almost destroy our Church; but the gates of Hell will not prevail, as we've seen the Church slowly recover!

Claudius said...

Excellent. Let the winnowing continue. And let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

My father's family hails from Swansea, Wales. My grandfather was a first generation American. My father converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism in the 1950s. By about 1980, he had to admit he would never have converted had he known what was coming.

Whatever else we can conclude about these studies of the decline of Christianity in Wales, there is no doubt that Vatican II put an end to the significant conversions to Catholicism that were taking place throughout the English-speaking world prior to the council. Evangelization was one of the Council's big objectives, and it failed miserably here, as elsewhere. OK, now we can stop talking about it...

Dr. Timothy J. Williams said...

Malta said...

Well, the beautiful thing about VII is to show how Modernists can almost destroy our Church; but the gates of Hell will not prevail, as we've seen the Church slowly recover!

MALTA: I assume you are being facetious?

Simon Platt said...

The funny thing is - I can't remember whether I said "Christian" or declined to answer. I do remember bothering about it, but I can't remember what I decided.

I tend towards the opinion that one should tell Them the least he can get away with.

Et Expecto said...

The statistics do not tell us anything about trends in denominations within the Christian umberella, although it is natural to conclude that the downward trend applies in the Catholic Church as well as the protestant denominations.

I will not comment on the effect of Vatican II, but I would surmise that the selection of bishops during the past 30 years has had some impact. The good news is that a different breed of bishop is beginning to emerge in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, and I would hope that this will have a positive result.

LeonG said...

It is Springtime again in the new church of the VC II.

LeonG said...

I do not have the statistics to hand but the new catholic church individual indicators are all definitely down. The Telegraph online also had a useful comparative chart dated between the two papal visits of JP II and Benedict XVI which demonstrated a clear downsizing across the board. Why be surprised?

Crouchback said...

Didn't Archbishop Lefebvre remark that Pope John Paul II visits a country has masses for millions of people . . Returns to Rome . . .then the church collapses in his wake . .???

Our parish in the north of England had a mass going population of 1200 in 1968 . . By the time of the Popes visit in 1982 the numbers had dropped by around 50% . . Since then it has dropped from around 600 . . .to just over 200.

And as Cardinal Heenan warned after he first witnessed the Novus Ordo . .give the people that mass and soon you'll only have old women at mass . . .

And so what was foretold has come to pass . . .

Lets do two things . .lets never mention Vatican II . .ever again . . .

Lets root out the Novus Ordo . .it kills the faith.

hansboyca said...

As I understand it, High Church Anglicanism, and particularly Anglo-Catholicism, suffered a devastating blow following Vatican II. Until then, Anglo-Catholics had taken their cue from Rome. Then the bottom fell out.

Mar said...

It wasn't only High Church Anglicanism, and particularly Anglo-Catholicism, if truth be told. Other denominations also took their cue from Rome, if only grudgingly and surreptitiously. The Catholic Church was a paragon against which they ranted and
inveighed, yet it was a paragon nevertheless.

All the pulling and straining against the yoke of the Church, the kicking against the goad, was a sign that in the world the authority of the Church, and hence the authority of Christ, was clear for all to see. Not as in our times when the authority of the Church is like a thing of shame to be hidden under a bushel.

"And when we were all fallen down on the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me in the Hebrew tongue: Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the goad. And I said: Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord answered: I am Jesus whom thou persecutest." Acts 26:14

Malta said...

Dear Dr. Williams,

You are right, but I'm being only partially facetious. As Erasamus taught, God only allows an evil that a greater good may come out of it!

jeff said...

Countries like India and in Africa are so religious generally that you merely have to sneeze the name of Jesus and 5 heathens will convert. You can have a tepid and limp expression of the faith in those countries and yet the churches and seminaries will remain full.

In the first world, such expressions of religion are just not made of tough enough "stuff" to withstand the scorching winds of secularism.

JabbaPapa said...

Well, our local satistics are 89% Catholic, and either 6% Anglican/Protestant & 4 % Jewish or vice-versa.

Can you tell the difference when atheism is promoted by one EU State, and Catholicism by another ?

Anonymous said...

Interesting would be a survey of the church in Scotland, where there not sufficient vocations to keep one single seminary open and the last remaining one, Scotus College, closed in 2009.
The Church in Scotland is dead.
Cardinal O'brien as "papabile" ... indeed, if you want to deliver a killer blow to the Church worldwide.

Alphege said...

And yet, O anonymous, he is also a vociferous defendant of Christian values in the UK. Perhaps loudly preaching to the choir isn't the way forward after all... ?