Some great news from the UK, where despite reports of the near death of the Church of England there is quite spectacular growth happening.
From the Bible Society:
Good news from the UK: the Church in London is growing
“Church attendance in the capital grew by 16 per cent in the seven years to 2012, boosted by immigration from countries with large Catholic and Pentecostal communities.”
The FT article focuses on the Anglicans who, because they were previously in decline, can boast (if Christians are allowed to boast) a significant turn-around.
The FT pinpoints two key “mega” churches: Holy Trinity Brompton in Kensington (home of the Alpha course and a significant church planting movement) and St Helen’s Bishopsgate, surrounded by skyscrapers in the city (and a close ally of the Sydney Anglican diocese).
The FT is talking about the Diocese (church region) of London, north of the River Thames where the growth is concentrated. The more liberal Diocese of Southwark, south of the river, has not seen the same sort of growth. Overall the Church of England figures are steady or in biz speak “bottoming out”.
Research by academics at Cramer Hall, a theological college in Durham entitled Church Growth in Britain from 1980 to the Present in 2012 revealed:
- There are 500,000 Christians in black majority churches in Britain. Sixty years ago there were hardly any.
- At least 5,000 new churches have been started in Britain since 1980 – and this is an undercount. The true figure is probably higher.
- There are one million Christians in Britain from black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities.
- The adult membership of the Anglican Diocese of London has risen by over 70 per cent since 1990.
Australia’s Hillsong also has a strong presence in London including a successful transplant of the Hillsong Conference, usually held in London’s o2 arena. Eternity understands that Hillsong and Holy Trinity are good friends.
This success is matched by a plethora of African Pentecostal movements, including the Nigerian Kingsway International Christian Centre, and the local Pentecostal Kensington temple.