Skip to content Exit mobile menu

St Mary's Study Finds London Most Religious Area in England and Wales

Date article published
SHARE TwitterFacebookLinkedin
London is the most religious area in England and Wales with 60% of the population declaring religious affiliation, according to a report from the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society. The report shows non-Christian religions, including Muslims, Hindus and Jews, account for one in five of the capital’s population, far higher than in other areas of England and Wales like the South West, where they represent just one in a hundred. Meanwhile, Wales, once known as the ‘land of revivals’ owing to the many religious resurgences throughout its history, is the least religious area with a significant majority declaring no religious affiliation (59.3%). Dr Stephen Bullivant, author of the Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales report and Director of the Centre said, “There's been a great discussion recently as to whether ours is still a 'Christian country', and what that actually might mean, in concrete terms. This data casts light on the complexity - and indeed variability - of contemporary English and Welsh religiosity. "The religious make-up of Britain today reflects wider changes in the social profile of the nation: immigration, particularly in the capital, almost certainly plays a large part in this. These developments should pose some big questions for religious communities, not least in light of the continuing growth of 'no religion' and the fact that none of the Christian churches really seem to be competing effectively.” Other findings for the report include:
  • Overall in England and Wales the majority (51.5%) identify as having a religious faith with Anglicans (19.8%) and Catholics (8.3%) being the most significant faith groups.
  • 5% of the adult population say they have 'no religion', though only 19% say they were brought up non-religiously.
  • Catholics make up more than one in ten of the populations of the North West and London compared to the East Midlands and the South West, where the Catholic community accounts for fewer than one in twenty of each region's inhabitants.
  • Half of all born-and-raised Anglicans surveyed now identify as 'No religion'.
  • For every Anglican convert in England and Wales there are twelve ex-Anglicans.
  • Almost all converts to a Christian denomination are already brought up as some other kind of Christian, while almost none are brought up in a non-Christian household.
The report is the first to be published as part of a stream of initiatives based within the new Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society at St Mary's University, Twickenham. It was debated at an event in Parliament today by an expert panel including Jon Cruddas MP and Dr Siobhan McAndrew, lecturer at Bristol University. Original analyses in this report based on publicly available data collected as part the British Social Attitudes survey (BSA), NatCen Social Research (2012-14 inclusive)
SHARE TwitterFacebookLinkedin