Gathered church is back but habits are changing, says new Evangelical Alliance report

Gathered church is back but habits have changed, says the Evangelical Alliance today as it publishes its latest Changing Church report, providing insights into the new landscape of the UK evangelical church.

This research suggests that the pandemic is impacting people’s habits in relation to church attendance, but despite these fluctuations churches continue to share the good news of Jesus and serve their local communities. One of the key findings is a change in people’s habits of attending church, with a reduction in weekly in-person attendance and an increase in fortnightly or monthly in-person and online attendance. This change in attendance habits seems to be having an impact on volunteering numbers and congregational giving, as church leaders are also perceiving a reduction in congregational giving.

Rich Powney, lead theology researcher at the Evangelical Alliance, says: “The church continues to face a changing, and at times challenging, landscape. Yet this is also an opportunity to reflect and reset, to ask strategic conversations and hold formative conversations as we learn some lessons from lockdown. As we do this, let’s pray that we all remain committed to making Jesus known through our words and actions.”

Key messages from the report:

  • Most churches are back to in-person services (95%) and a majority of churches are continuing to offer online services too (61%).
  • Average in-person attendance at church services has dropped by 32% but this is largely due to people attending less regularly and is potentially offset by a rise in people attending online.
  • Almost 60% of church leaders have perceived a decrease in volunteering and 24% of churches who offered youth ministry before the Covid-19 pandemic are not currently offering youth ministry.
  • There seems to be a downward trend in relation to congregational giving, despite a noticeable disconnect between church leaders’ and church members’ responses about giving.

The Evangelical Alliance will use the results to shape its work as it resources the UK church and raises the church’s voice to the government and media. It hopes that the findings will resonate with church leaders’ experiences and give them insight to be able to plan for the future.

The report is the third of its kind during the Covid-19 pandemic, and was produced in collaboration with Stewardship and in partnership with Eido Research. To find out more and explore the report, which is freely available for all to use, go to:


Our UK director Peter Lynas is available for interview upon request. For more information, interview or photo requests please contact Helen Locke (, 02075 203850, 07920117595).

Notes to editors

Explore the report:

Aims and scope of research

The survey was open between 14 and 24 October and people self-selected to take part in the survey. Therefore, the results cannot be assumed to be representative of the UK church. However, the large number of respondents, the even spread of responses from throughout the UK and across different denominations, and the quality and variety of answers to the open questions, allow us to trust that this data is a valuable source of information on the state of the UK evangelical church at this time. We received: 552 valid responses from church leaders; and 1,676 valid responses from church members. About 58% of the church leaders represent churches who are members of the Evangelical Alliance and 39% of the individual respondents were members of the Evangelical Alliance. 86% of church members and 94% of church leaders described themselves as an evangelical Christian. The research was conducted by the Evangelical Alliance in collaboration with Stewardship and in partnership with Eido Research. This survey paints one version of the picture of what is happening across the UK church. It’s not definitive but the Evangelical Alliance hopes that something of what is here resonates with people’s experiences and that it provides people with insight to be able to plan for the future.

About the Evangelical Alliance

We are the Evangelical Alliance. We join together hundreds of organisations, thousands of churches and tens of thousands of individuals for the sake of the gospel. Representing our members since 1846, the Evangelical Alliance is the oldest and largest evangelical unity movement in the UK.

We love Jesus and we want everyone in the UK to be given an opportunity to know Him.

We love His church, and we will do all we can to unite evangelicals, building confidence in the gospel and speaking as a trusted voice into society to see it changed for Him.

Working across the UK, with offices in London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Belfast, our members come together from across denominations, locations, age groups and ethnicities, all sharing a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.