Wednesday 16 December 2020

Theos Report on Growing Good

A new report from Theos has recently been published:

Hannah Rich, Growing Good: Growth, Social Action and Discipleship in the Church of England (London: Theos, 2020).

Here are some paragraphs from the Theos website:

‘Over the past decade, the contribution that the Church of England makes to society through its social action has increased, reflecting an increase in the demand and expectation for it. At the same time, church attendance in the country has continued to decline; by most key metrics, attendance at Church of England services fell by between 15% and 20% from 2009–2019. This is the paradox facing the Church of England in 2020: the national church of a nation that is increasingly reliant on its social action and yet less and less spiritually connected to it.

‘This research, done in partnership with the Church Urban Fund… explores the relationship between social action, church growth and discipleship in the Church of England. It finds that social action can be a route to church growth in both numerical and spiritual terms. Further, social action is one of the key ways in which congregations can build wider networks of relationships resulting in people initiating a faith journey and joining the church.

‘Crucially, social action leads to church growth when it enables congregations to develop meaningful relationships with those they would not otherwise have done, or who might not otherwise have come into sustained contact with the church.

‘The report identifies key characteristics of churches that are growing in number and discipleship through their engagement with social action…’

A pdf of the full report is available here.

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