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Church Growth in Britain: A Response to Steve Bruce *

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This article examines the extent of church growth in Britain in recent decades, in response to the articulation of the secularisation thesis with regard to Christian congregations in recent British history. It shows that alongside the widely recognised phenomenon of church decline, there has been significant church growth—notably in London, amongst black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities and amongst new churches. This runs counter to many discussions of religion in recent British history, which assume overwhelming and ongoing church decline and which assume any church growth is peripheral. The article recognises evidence of significant church decline—but critiques the view that this should be the sole or the dominant narrative. The findings of the article throw up a range of questions that offer significant new avenues for further research.

Affiliations: 1: Cranmer Hall, St Johns College, Durham University,


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