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The Church-24 Survey

The Church-24 Survey builds on previous surveys in 2001, 2013 and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Interior of the York St John Chapel

Make yourself heard! Join 3,000 who’ve responded to the Church 2024 survey.

There’s still time to join the 3,000 people who have shared their views about a host of issues facing today’s church by taking part in the ‘Church 24’ survey.

The survey, hosted by York St John University and devised by Professors of Theology Andrew Village and Leslie J. Francis, follows previous surveys run in 2001 and 2013 (with additional surveys during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021), and will reveal how attitudes and beliefs have changed over two decades, and particularly since Covid-19.

The two professors are very encouraged by the response so far, and thank those who have taken part in the research. They hope even more people will take part, so if you haven’t completed it yet, there is still time to do so.

Andrew Village adds, “There are already some intriguing patterns emerging from the data so far. On Artificial Intelligence, for example, very few people felt the Church should encourage the development of ‘AI ministers’, but nearly half thought it was better to have AI ministry than no ministry at all."

“If it came to a choice between competent AI ministers and incompetent human ones, just of 10% would go for the pastoral robot but nearly 20% would take the preaching robot. What’s your view? The researchers would love to know.”

As well as artificial intelligence (AI), other new questions look at contemporary issues including the environment, and changing views on ethical issues such as assisted dying.

The survey will run for several more months, with occasional updates given this website, and should help Churches ensure that decisions about doctrine, worship, ministry, and mission can draw on evidence from ministers and congregations at the grassroots.

Participation will take about 15-20 minutes, depending on your role in your church.

Most responses involve ticking boxes to indicate various things about you (such as denomination, country of residence, age etc.), your church life (are you ordained or a licensed minister, do you belong to groups, how often do you attend church etc.) and whether you agree or disagree with a range of ideas.

No information held from the survey will link records to particular individuals. You can see more details about the survey below or click below to take part.

Start the Church-24 survey

The Church 24 survey is being organised by Professor Andrew Village at York St John University in partnership with our visiting Professor Leslie Francis and people from a wide range of churches in the UK, Republic of Ireland, and the USA.

The survey is building on research from surveys done in 2001 and 2013, and on the 2 surveys we did during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Why do a survey now?

In 2001 we ran a survey through the Church Times on a wide range of topics from the ordination of women to funding church schools. It was well received, with nearly 10,000 people posting in their responses. In 2013 we ran the survey again, this time both in print and online, repeating the same questions and adding new ones that picked up some new issues facing Churches. It was also well received and there were enough responses to allow detailed comparisons with the earlier survey.

The results of those surveys have shown how the opinions of Christians shifted on some issues but not others, and in some traditions but not others. Ten years on, we want to run the survey again, and we are asking for your help.

During the Covid pandemic we ran 2 surveys which were entirely online, and which also had thousands of responses from a wide range of Christian denominations. They showed how different sections of the Church reacted to the closure of church buildings, the advent of online worship, and the stress of ministering when everything had changed in an instant. The results allowed us to publish numerous academic articles which we reported on over many months in the Church Times and elsewhere.

The purpose of the survey

The Church-24 survey is aimed at 3 main objectives:

  • To repeat some of the questions given in 2001 and 2013, to see where opinions lie now.
  • To explore some new issues that face us now, or soon will, but which were not talked about as much a decade ago. Issues such as climate change, safeguarding procedures, artificial intelligence, or assisted dying. Churches are having to respond to these issues, so it would be good to know what the People of God think about these matters.
  • The Covid pandemic is over... or is it? Some say we have moved on and that it's all over, but others are not so sure.

Taking part in the survey

The survey is aimed mainly at people from the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. This is a survey for clergy, lay ministers, and lay people of any denomination or none and you do not have to be a regular churchgoer to take part.

As with the previous surveys, Church-24 is asking some serious questions of serious people. We don’t do the two-minute ‘vox pop’ style surveys that are useful for feedback on your customer service experiences but which are useless in understanding the complexities of Christian faith and church life today.

We are asking for 15 to 20 minutes of your time and a certain amount of thought to a survey that will explore something about you, what you believe about some big issues, and your experiences of church life since the pandemic. The first page of the survey has more information about the survey and how the data will be used.

How to take part

If you would like to take part, you can follow the link below.

Start the Church-24 Survey

The survey is most easily done on a computer or tablet, but it can be completed using a smartphone. If you need to pause halfway through you can return to the survey using the link on the same device within a week and it will pick up where you left off. You must answer some questions so that you will get the right set of questions for your particular context.

Feel free to encourage others in your church and beyond to take the survey by sharing the link. The more people who take part from a wide range of churches, the more useful the results will be.

Your help with this project is greatly appreciated and will help researchers and church leaders to understand better the grassroots of the Church.

After the survey closes

The survey will run for several months during 2024, and we will give updates on progress from time to time on this webpage. As we analyse and publish our findings we will report them here and in newspapers such as the Church Times.

Our previous surveys

If you want to know more about the previous 2 Church Times surveys, they are reported in detail in:

Details of the findings of the Covid pandemic surveys can be found on our COVID-19 and Church-21 page, which has links to the Church Times articles.