The Church is still popular

Oct 07, 2009

Despite decline in numbers of worshippers and increased secularisation the church is still valued and appreciated as an institution which protects and preserves common values in the public sphere. This has been shown by sociologist of religion Martha Middlemiss Lé Mon at Uppsala University, Sweden, in a study focusing on the Church of England.

Martha Middlemiss Lé Mon has mapped the contribution of the Church of England in the welfare area as well as interviewing both priests and local authority representatives in England. The results show that the church at local level does more of general benefit to society than is generally recognised. There is considerable desire for and acceptance of a church which can be a complement to public health care and public provision for children and the elderly in a welfare system which is felt to be increasingly fragile.

The study shows that both those who represent the church as organisation and those who rarely set foot in a church appreciate it when representatives of the church speak out in public for those who find it hard to make their own voice heard, such as the homeless, sick, elderly and asylum seekers.

The study which the thesis is based on was carried out in England, but is analysed in the thesis within a broader European context.

"The church remains an institution which stands for and protects common values in the sphere. It stands in-between individual and society at large and is appreciated. People want it to continue to exist. This does not, however, change the declining numbers of regular worshippers and does not mean that the church is about to reclaim its former position of power in society," she says.

"The question for everyone who sees value in the continued existence of the church is therefore: how long can the church as institution live up to the expectations which the study has shown exist, in an age of decreasing membership and weaker levels of affiliation to the core activities of the ?"

Provided by Uppsala University (news : web)

Explore further: Explainer: What is a small private online course?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

DNA contradicts Mormon scripture

Feb 16, 2006

The Mormon Church teaches American Indians are descended from a lost tribe of Israel, but modern DNA test results contradict that tenet.

Go to church and breathe easier

Nov 29, 2006

Going to church might help you breathe easier. A new study by Temple University's Joanna Maselko, Sc.D., found that religious activity may protect and maintain pulmonary health in the elderly.

Personal genetic profiles may be reality

Aug 06, 2005

Personal genetic profiles revealing a person's risk of disease, food intolerance and drug reactions could soon be a reality, says a Boston researcher.

Recommended for you

Explainer: What is a small private online course?

35 minutes ago

If you have studied an online course at a university over the past couple of decades, you've probably already experienced a SPOC, or Small Private Online Course. SPOC is a new term for an old concept, which appears to be frustrating members of the distance edu ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.