Attendance Numbers Bounce Back

09th February 2024

Attendance at Church of England cathedrals continued to bounce back following the pandemic, new statistics for 2022 published today show.

Church of England stats just released show attendances are up and Cathedrals are bouncing back!

Figures show that adult usual Sunday attendance rose 60% between 2021 and 2022 for the 42 Church of England mainland Cathedrals to 12,300. A total of 28,200 people including children attended services every week, according to Cathedral Statistics 2022.

Over the year there were 584,000 attendances at specially arranged services – not included in average weekly attendance – such as school services. The total reported attendance at Christmas services stood at 104,000.

However the figures had not yet reached pre pandemic levels of attendance.

The number of girl choristers in Cathedrals stood at its highest total in 2022 at 790, out of 1,500 child choristers. The number of Cathedral choirs stood at 165, also the highest number reported.

Cathedrals hosted 530 graduation ceremonies in 2022 with 434,000 people attending – the highest numbers ever reported. There were more marriage services in Cathedrals in 2022 (290) than in 2019 (270). Both the graduation and marriage figures reflect efforts that have been made, where possible, to catch up after the lifting of Covid restrictions.

These latest statistics from the Church of England come on the back of an independent survey by The Times published last month of 30 Church of England Cathedrals that found congregations at Christmas (2023) for many, were even higher than pre-pandemic levels and some cathedrals had to turn people away because they were too full.

Average attendance at Christmas services in 2023 was around 7-8,000 and was boosted by live streaming on platforms such as YouTube where sometimes nine times as many people tuned in – in Norwich, their Christmas Eve procession service saw 16,000 views on YouTube.

Salisbury and Gloucester had to turn people away because the pews were full, and several others said they were at full capacity.