Facts and stats

The Church of England plays a vital role in the life of the nation, proclaiming the Christian gospel in words and actions and providing services of Christian worship and praise.

Its network of parishes cover the country, bringing a vital Christian dimension to the nation as well as strengthening community life in numerous urban, suburban and rural settings. Its cathedrals are centres of spirituality and service, and its network of chaplaincies across continental Europe meet important local needs.

The Church of England plays an active role in national life with its members involved in a wide range of public bodies. Twenty-six bishops are members of the House of Lords and are engaged in debates about legislation and national and international affairs.

The Church of England is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Key facts about the Church of England:

Church attendance and visits

  • In October 2013, approximately 1 million people participated in a Church of England service each week. (Statistics for Mission, 2013)
  • In 2013, approximately 2.4 million people participated in a Church of England service on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. During the same year, 1.3 million people attended an Easter service. (Statistics for Mission, 2013)
  • A survey in December 2014, indicated that 45% of adults in England attended a church or chapel for reasons ranging from tourism to worship. 60% of Christians in Britain reported having visited a church within the last year and 44% reported having attended a religious service.(ComRes, December 2014)
  • Around 10 million people visit a Church of England cathedral each year. Each week, around 38,000 people take part in a service within these buildings. (Cathedral Statistics, 2013)


  • Latest available statistics indicate 1 in 4 primary schools and 1 in 16 secondary schools in England are Church of England schools. Approximately 1 million pupils are educated in more than 4,700 Church of England schools. (Church of England's Education Division published figures, 2014)
  • Around 15 million people alive today went to a Church of England school. (Church of England's Education Division published figures, 2014)
  • There are 22,500 Foundation Governors in Church schools recruited, trained and supported by dioceses. (Church of England's Education Division published figures, 2014)


  • In 2012, there were around 28,300 ministers licensed by Church of England dioceses, including clergy, readers and Church Army officers: one minister for every 2,900 people in England. As well as 11,300 licenced clergy, there were over 1,000 chaplains to prisons, hospitals, the armed forces and in education, 6,600 licenced readers, and around 5,700 active retired ministers with permission to officiate. (Ministry Statistics, 2012)
  • In 2012, 65% of ministers were self-supporting. (Ministry Statistics, 2012)
  • The Church recommended 510 future clergy for ordination training in 2012, maintaining the level seen since the turn of the millennium. (Ministry Statistics, 2012)
  • It ordained 490 new clergy (221 women and 269 men) in 2012, with more than half ordained to full-time, stipendiary ministry: 162 men and 94 women. (Ministry Statistics, 2012)

Community involvement

  • Over 80,000 volunteers and around 2,700 Church Staff help provide support and activities for children, young people and families. (Statistics for Mission, 2013)
  • Over 100,000 children and young people participate in activities connected to the church. (Statistics for Mission, 2012)
  • In 2012, nearly half a million worshippers subscribed to tax-efficient giving schemes such as Gift Aid, accounting for nearly half the voluntary income of parish churches. (Finance Statistics, 2012)

Church buildings

  • The Church of England has around 16,000 churches, serving every part of the country and open to every local inhabitant. There are 42 mainland cathedrals, plus one in Peel on the Isle of Man and the Diocese in Europe's cathedral in Gibraltar. (Statistics for Mission, 2012; Cathedral Statistics, 2013)
  • A survey in December 2014, found that 80% of people in England considered churches and chapels to be an important part of the country's heritage and history. People value their local church and 74% considered it an important part of their local community. 60% of people believed that repairing and maintaining historic church buildings benefits people who do not attend. (ComRes, December 2014)
  • Three church and cathedral locations are World Heritage Sites: Durham Castle and Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey & St Martin's Church, and Westminster Abbey and St Margaret's Church. (UNESCO)
  • Over £130 million is currently spent on repairs to Church of England buildings per annum. (Finance Statistics, 2012)


Cathedral Statistics, 2013 - https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2119824/2013cathedralstatistics.pdf

Church of England's Education Division published figures, 2014 - https://churchofengland.org/education/church-schools-academies.aspx

Church Statistics, 2012-2013 - https://www.churchofengland.org/about-us/facts-stats/research-statistics.aspx

ComRes survey, December 2014 - http://comres.co.uk/polls/abta-mps-attitudes-to-airport-capacity-survey/

Statistics for Mission, 2013 - https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2112070/2013statisticsformission.pdf

Ministry Statistics, 2012 - https://www.churchofengland.org/media/1868964/ministry%20statistics%20final.pdf

Finance Statistics, 2012 - https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2048371/2012financestatistics.pdf

Unesco, 2015 - http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/

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