A new report launched today by the Evangelical Alliance has found that 59% of the UK churches surveyed are reporting a marked increase in people interested in finding out more about the Christian faith. The research, which surveyed almost 700 churches and 196 faith-based organisations, also shows that 70% of church leaders have reported a surge in the number of people who would not normally attend church, now attending during the lockdown.
The report goes on to reveal that 88% of church leaders have said their churches are working tirelessly to meet the needs of vulnerable people struggling during the coronavirus pandemic. Of these churches, 72% are working in partnership with either local authorities, other churches or charities.
The study, which surveyed churches across denominations including the Church of England, Baptist, Elim, Assemblies Of God, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Methodist, New Frontiers, Presbyterian and independents, was conducted by the Evangelical Alliance in partnership with the charity Stewardship and Eido Research.
Evangelical Alliance UK Director, Peter Lynas says,
“Since lockdown, we have seen churches across the country adapt to the uncertain environment and speak directly to the fear and anxiety that many people are feeling through the UK. Online services are reporting huge levels of interest and thousands are engaging with church for the first time as a place of hope.”
“At the heart of the mission of the church is a desire to serve the marginalised, feed the hungry and be a place of refuge to those who are isolated. Through food banks and many other service provisions, churches are ensuring vulnerable individuals and families across the country receive the help they need.”
When asked about the economic impact on their churches, leaders reported 31% had used the government furlough scheme and two-thirds of churches are concerned about the loss of offering income, with over a quarter concerned about paying staff. Almost all of those surveyed said they were concerned about the long term economic impact on their communities.