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13 September 2012

Press release

Prudence means Christians are no longer poor church mice

Prudence means Christians are no longer poor church mice

New research revealing the financial habits of Christians shows a group of good savers, high givers and sensible spenders – which is just as well given the state of our economy.

Does Money Matter?, the latest research from the Evangelical Alliance, shows that evangelical Christians are thrifty, prudent and generous.

Of the sample, 93 per cent of respondents agree it is their duty to help those in poverty, and on average evangelicals give away 14.5 per cent of their net income. Interestingly, those on lower incomes give away a greater proportion than higher earners.

In terms of evangelical spending habits: 53 per cent shop online because it is cheaper; 58 per cent have no debts at all; and only 7 per cent have no savings. This compares with 29 per cent of all UK households that have no savings at all – either as bank accounts or investments, according to a report by the Halifax.

The report shows that the majority of evangelical Christians have - on more than one occasion - heard a sermon or talk about responsible attitudes to money from their church. Although this biblical focus on money is clearly having an effect, the report also shows that despite the recession, only 7 per pent of churches offer help to the unemployed.

Steve Clifford, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said: "At a time when the media is full of bad news about the economic crisis, it seems that Christians are modelling a better way forward by being generous givers, shopping sensibly and showing that life is more than about the things we can buy, by setting up projects such as food banks to further help the poor. This approach brings hope – and hope is the currency of faith."

Other results about evangelical Christians from the survey:

  • 25 per cent of households have an annual income of over £50,000

  • 57 per cent have fully paid their mortgage

  • 63 per cent believe in tithing so give away 10 per cent or more of their income

  • 45 per cent attend a church that has a scheme to help people in immediate need, such as a food bank

The survey is available online at: http://www.eauk.org/snapshot

Resources for church group leaders

Two new resources will help church groups engage with the research. For discussion questions: www.eauk.org/snapshot/discuss.cfm or for help with group presentations: www.eauk.org/snapshot/read.cfm

The aim of these surveys is to provide churches and Christian organisations with the type of data that will help them better understand and work with the communities they serve.

Media Enquiries

 Daniel Webster, parliamentary officer

Notes to Editors

21st Century Evangelicals is a series of research booklets produced by the following group of organisations: Care, Care for the Family, Christians Against Poverty, Compassion UK, CWR, Evangelical Alliance, Mission Aviation Fellowship, Open Doors, Prospects, Stewardship and Urban Saints. Its purpose is to study the beliefs, habits and practices of evangelical Christians in the UK.  In January 2011 the first publication of 21st Century Evangelicals was a groundbreaking survey of more than 17,000 respondents. The follow-up surveys will help us move forward and delve deeper in to understanding more fully the beliefs and practices at the heart of evangelicalism.

Previous issues in the series are: A snapshot of the beliefs and habits of evangelical Christians in the UK, Does belief touch our society?, Are we communicating?, The World on our doorstep? and How's the family?

The Evangelical Alliance, formed in 1846, is the largest body serving evangelical Christians in the UK, and has a membership including denominations, churches, organisations and individuals. The mission of the Evangelical Alliance is to unite evangelicals to present Christ credibly as good news for spiritual and social transformation. According to a Tearfund survey (Churchgoing in the UK, 2007), there are approximately 2 million evangelical Christians in the UK. For more information please visit www.eauk.org