Roman Catholics have overtaken Anglicans as the country’s dominant religious group. More people attend Mass every Sunday than worship with the Church of England, figures seen by The Sunday Telegraph show.
While it’s nice to hear that another country is becoming more Catholic, it’s not necessarily all good news:
The rise of Catholicism has been bolstered by an influx of immigrants from eastern Europe and Africa, who have packed the pews of Catholic parishes that had previously been dwindling.
The Catholic Church has also suffered a serious fall in the size of its congregations, but the expansion of the European Union in 2004 resulted in its numbers being bolstered by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Poles and Lithuanians.
Attendance at Mass in 1991 was recorded as 1.3 million, a drop of 40 per cent since 1963. But over the past six years it has fallen by only 13 per cent, with the rate of decline slowed by immigrants from Catholic countries.
Even though much of the increase in Catholic attendance was due to immigration from Poland and Lithuania, native British Catholics are still more likely to attend Mass than native British Anglicans:
Churchgoing in Anglican and Catholic parishes had stood at about a million each for the past 10 years, though the relative equality in their numbers over recent years is surprising considering that there are 25 million people who regard themselves as Anglicans, and only 4.2 million Catholics.
This really doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know:
1) British people aren’t all that religious any more.
2) Poles (and Lithuanians) rock!!
(BTW: I’m of both Lithuanian and Polish descent.)
Hat Tip:The Cafeteria is Closed