Just One in Five Britons Say Bible Is Relevant to Them

circa 1956: A whole family gathered in the evening for readings of their favourite Bible stories. (Photo by Sherman/Three Lions/Getty Images)
Sherman/Three Lions/Getty Images

Fewer than one in five people, 18 per cent, in England and Wales say that the Bible is relevant to them, as the number of those professing a Christian faith continues to fall.

That proportion is less than half those that profess the Christian faith, which is 40 per cent, according to a study of 20,000 people carried out by the Bible Society, according to Premier Christian Rado.

The findings come as a separate survey published four months ago revealed that Christianity continues to fall in the United Kingdom. The British Attitudes Survey (BAS) of 2,884 people found that a similar figure across the whole country — 38 per cent — considered themselves to be Christian.

The BAS survey authors described a “dramatic decline” in the number of British Christians in the past 35 years. In 1983, 66 per cent — two thirds — of Britons said they were Christian, with that demographic dropping to half of the population in 2008. By age group, in 2018, only one per cent of young people (aged 18 to 24) say they belong to the Church of England , halving from the year before.

Meanwhile, more than half (52 per cent) say they have no religion at all. The only faiths that have experienced a growth in 35 years are Islam (from one per cent to six per cent) and Christian Pentecostalism, the latter’s growth likely to due immigration from West Africa.

The Church of England in recent years has been liberalising in order to remain “relevant” to current-year societal trends, including inviting transgenders to join the clergy, telling its schools to allow young children to experiment with their gender identity, and the archbishop of Canterbury declaring God gender-neutral.

Some Anglican cathedrals have also engaged in sacrilege by misusing sacred spaces in gimmicks to attract more visitors. In August, Norwich cathedral erected a helter-skelter in its nave, from which the bishop delivered a sermon before sliding down.

The month before, Rochester cathedral set up a miniature golf course in its nave.

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