RMC Briefings

Our weekly online briefings offer a unique opportunity to get behind the headlines, with a panel of speakers quizzed by our journalists

Briefing: Impact of census results on religion and belief

The 2021 census for England and Wales revealed that 42 per cent of the population describe themselves as Christian, a drop of 13 per cent since the last census in 2011. Non religion is the second largest grouping at 37 per cent, while other religious groups report a rise. In this Religion Media Centre briefing, our panel analysed the results. What accounts for the decline in Christianity, what does non religion actually mean, and why are other faith groups better at passing on their faith to the next generation than the church. Ruth Peacock chaired this discussion with panellists:

  • Professor Linda Woodhead, F. D. Maurice professor and head of the department of theology and religious studies at King’s College London
  • Dr Kathryn Wright Chief Executive Officer of Culham St Gabriel’s Trust
  • Dr Jasjit Singh is Associate Professor at University of Leeds in the School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
  • Dr Azim Ahmed, deputy head of Islam UK Centre in Cardiff and secretary general of the Muslim Council of Wales
  • Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, also acting bishop of Blackburn
  • Christopher Jamison, Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation.

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Report: Number of Christians in England and Wales drops under half for first time

Christianity is in decline while other religious groups increase and non-religion advances in an increasingly complex and diverse society, say latest census findings.

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