More than half of British adults have visited a church in the past one year, and six in 10 say the government should provide grants to help maintain the buildings, according to an opinion poll, commissioned by the National Churches Trust.
The survey found that 84% of those questioned think churches, chapels and meeting houses are important to the country’s history and heritage. A similar number said churches play an important role in society by providing a space for community activities, such as playgroups and cultural events.
The Guardian Newspaper says there are more than 42,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses in the UK. Testify Newspaper suggests that the number of premises occupied by Christians in the UK is currently over 80,000.
Despite falling numbers of those who define themselves as Christian in the country and dwindling number of people who attend traditional churches, there has been a significant rise in the number of Pentecostal and independent churches. Most of which are led by ethnic minority groups especially in London.
According to Alex Iwuoha of Testify Newspaper, “Some churches are located in traditional church buildings. But most new churches are now dwelling in unusual places such as leisure centres, school halls, community centres, cafes and business premises.” Alex Iwuoha said “There is a growing number of Christian fellowships at hotel banqueting halls, football stadiums, cinemas, homes and even shop premises. I think church growth in the UK is God’s best kept secret. Whilst many are looking for churches and Christians at traditional buildings, believers are rapidly growing elsewhere.“
According to Testify Newspaper, “there is an unprecedented number of Christians at churches with the majority of their members from either Anglophone, Francophone or Lusophone African community groups in the UK. We have never seen such a time as this.”
“Other than African Caribbean Christian groups, we are now experiencing a growing number of Hispanophone churches and Sinophone Churches in Britain consisting of congregants mostly from Spanish-speaking South American countries, and Mandarin-speaking Asian countries. There is an exponential growth in the number of church goers in the UK, and the majority of them are from the ethnic minority groups,” said Alex Iwuoha