Annual Lecture 2022: Considering the future of religion in Britain

Join us on the 20th September at St Bride’s Church in London, as we consider the future of religion in Britain with Professor Linda Woodhead

Professor Linda Woodhead, described as one of the world’s leading experts on religion, will give the annual lecture of the Religion Media Centre on “Considering the future of religion in Britain”.

She will look ahead to the results of the national census, due to be published this autumn, which are expected to show a continuing rise in non-religion and decline of Christian affiliation in the UK.

Professor Linda Woodhead is the FD Maurice Professor and Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s College London and has written extensively on the role of religion in society and the rise of alternative spirituality, during a period when organised religion is in decline.

She will share her understanding of why Christian affiliation is contracting and what “non-religion” means. She says:

Professor Linda Woodhead

“The question on the census measures affiliation and self-identification, not belief or practice. The results need to be interpreted in relation to wider research findings.

“Great Britain, excluding Northern Ireland, is a ‘world leader’ in terms of long and gradual decline of the churches, and the growth of non-religion and religious diversity. The interesting questions are why, how, and what ‘no religion’ encompasses (not merely secular atheism).

“In practical and policy terms it is also important to consider what the statistics mean for historic institutions (from church buildings to schools), for social cohesion and for geo-political alliances.”

In the 2011 Census, Christianity was the largest religion, with 33.2 million people (59.3 per cent of the population). The second largest religious group were Muslims with 2.7 million people (4.8 per cent of the population). 14.1 million people, around a quarter of the population in England and Wales, reported they have no religion in 2011.

The National Centre for Social Research published more data in 2019 showing a further decline of Christianity to under 40 per cent, while non religion rose to 52 per cent.

The lecture is on Tuesday 20th September at 6.45 at St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street EC4Y 8AU. Admission is free, tickets are available on Eventbrite here >>


Join our Newsletter