Church of England at a glance

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.

Our network of parishes covers the country, bringing a vital Christian dimension to the nation and strengthening community life in numerous urban, suburban and rural settings. Our Cathedrals are centres of spirituality and service, and the network of chaplaincies across continental Europe meets important local needs.

Members of the Church of England are actively involved in national life through 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.


  • 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.

For more information, see the Church Schools and Academies page.

Church attendance and visits

  • In October 2016, approximately 930,000 people participated in a Church of England service each week.
  • An additional 180,000 people attended services for schools each week in October 2016.
  • Around 9.4 million people visited a Church of England Cathedral in 2015. Each week, around 37,000 people took part in services in Cathedrals.


  • In 2016, there were 19,550 ordained ministers in the Church of England, including stipendiary clergy, self-supporting ministers, and Chaplains. Additionally, there were 5,760 Readers and Licensed Lay Ministers.
  • The Church of England ordained 484 new clergy in 2016, with 299 (181 men, 118 women) ordained to stipendiary ministry.

Community involvement

  • Over 80,000 volunteers and around 2,700 Church Staff help provide support and activities for children, young people and families.
  • Over 100,000 children and young people participate in activities connected to the church.
  • In 2015, Church of England parishes gave £47 million to charity.
  • 76% of churches run activities in local schools, 66% help with food banks, 60% offer parent and toddler groups and 53% organise lunch clubs or drop-ins

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.
  • 12,500 church buildings are listed. 45% of all England's Grade I listed buildings are cathedrals and churches.

For more information, see the statistics pages.


All people in the church, often used for those who are not ordained.


A person authorised by a bishop for lay ministry including leading public worship.


The money a clergy member receives to be able to continue their ministry