The Church-24 Survey
The Church-24 Survey builds on previous surveys in 2001, 2013 and during the Covid-19 pandemic.
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.
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:
- Francis, L. J., Robbins, M., & Astley, J. (2005). Fragmented faith? Exposing the fault-lines in the Church of England. Paternoster Press
- Village, A. (2018). The Church of England in the first decade of the 21st century: The Church Times Surveys. Palgrave Macmillan.
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.