He said: “The headline figure here only gives us part of the picture.
“It has been clear for some time that we have moved from an era of people automatically, and perhaps unthinkingly, classifying themselves as Church of England or Anglican to one in which identifying with a faith is an active choice.
“We also know from research that people, particularly younger people, are less aware of denominations.
“Yet Research, especially amongst young people, shows an increase in willingness to engage in faith.
“Our experience is that people – of all ages - haven’t stopped searching for meaning and answers in their life.
“Ultimately the Church exists to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
“That was never meant to be easy and that work goes on whatever the figures may say.”