Church of England prelate the Rev Dr John Sentamu says churchgoing is often associated with words like “decline”, but it is still the biggest weekly gathering there is in Britain, outstripping combined attendances at football games each week.
The Uganda-born Archbishop of York said that when one factor’s in the global factor the churchgoing numbers are “simply staggering”.
“The Church of England alone conducts an average of 1,000 weddings, 2,000 baptisms and 3,000 funerals every week,” said Dr Sentamu.
“And then there are the schools, where in term one million children each day are educated in some 5,000 Church of England schools up and down the country.
“Over the Christmas period, people from churches support their communities in everything from food banks to domestic refugees, homeless shelters to hospital visiting. Faith lived out in love is faith at its best.”
“Faith is woven so deeply into our society that those who seek to write it off are often confounded by the way the church is involved in all areas of life.
“The church is for life and it is also for Christmas,”
The archbishop said Christmas is a family time. “I will be with my family; not just my kith and kin, but my wider family,“ said Dr Sentamu, in a Christmas Eve festival message in The Sun newspaper.