This year’s summary is illuminating as it contains figures showing the impact of the pandemic on the worshipping life of churches. As many of you will have already heard, levels of attendance and participation in 2022 were higher than in 2021 but still lower than in 2019, pre-pandemic.
Of particular interest to the team at The Clewer Initiative was the number of Church of England churches heavily involved in social action and community outreach.
It revealed that:
- 77 per cent of churches were involved in one or more forms of social action in 2022.
- Churches reported they were involved in 31,300 social action projects – with churches running 14,100 social action projects themselves and hosting another 3,400 projects. A further 4,200 projects were carried out in partnership with other organisations and 9,700 projects were supported by churches in other ways.
- A remarkable 2,000 of those responding reported that they ran three or more different social action projects.
- Churches were particularly involved in running or supporting food banks, hospitality for older people, and parent and toddler groups.