A new report launched by the Evangelical Alliance has found that churches have seen an increase in those attending – both offline and online – during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increase in attendance is most notable in the youngest age bracket, where 96% of those aged 18-24 had attended their home church online in the past month – higher than attendance at in-person gatherings before the crisis.
The study, titled Changing Church, 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,
“We have seen a marked shift in the spiritual atmosphere of the country throughout the pandemic. More people are praying, more people have watched church online and more young people are interacting with church. Through these results, we can see that not only are churches still active, but that they also seem to be more engaging.”
Those from a lower income household were less likely (45%) than those from more affluent households (51%) to have attended church during the same period. In addition, church leaders indicated that as a congregation they are continuing to respond to the needs they are seeing in their local communities; 49% of churches are involved in food and medicine delivery and 54% are befriending the elderly and isolated.
“There have been various media reports highlighting the incredible response of the UK church to the practical needs of their communities. Serving the poor, supporting the vulnerable and feed and caring for those on the fringes has always been central to the mission of the church. This year, as the need has grown, so has the willingness of the church to respond.”
The research surveyed 451 church leaders and 1,061 valid responses from individuals with 60% of the church leaders representing churches that are members of the Evangelical Alliance and just under half (46%) of individual respondents being members of the Evangelical Alliance.
To find out more and download the full report go to https://www.eauk.org.