Major cities have long been seen as centres of secularisation. However, the number of congregations in London grew by 50% between 1979 and the present. London’s churches have been characterised more by growth than by decline in the decades since 1980. The Desecularisation of the City provides the first academic survey of churches in London over recent decades, linking them to similar developments in other major cities across the West.
Produced by a large team of scholars from a range of disciplines, this volume offers a striking and original portrait of congregational life in London since 1980. Seventeen chapters explore the diverse localities, ethnicities and denominations that make up the church in contemporary London. The vitality of London’s churches in the last four decades shows that secularisation is far from inevitable in the cities of the future.
This study necessitates a significant reassessment of the dominant academic portrayal of Christianity in Britain and the West, which has, mostly, depicted cities as secular spaces within a secularising culture. It will be of great interest to scholars working across a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, religious studies and theology.
About the Author
Revd Dr David Goodhew is Director of Ministerial Studies, Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, Durham University. He has edited four volumes on contemporary Christianity with Routledge, beginning with Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present (2012).
Anthony-Paul Cooper is Research Fellow of the Centre for Church Growth Research at Cranmer Hall, St John's College, Durham University. Anthony-Paul has a background in social research, with previous research topics including new church use of ‘secular’ and ‘sacred’space and the use of social media data to better understand church attendance and church growth.
Table of Contents
Section One: The Desecularisation of the City
1 The Desecularisation of the City: London’s Churches, 1980 to the Present
David Goodhew and Anthony-Paul Cooper
Section Two: Changes in London’s Churches, 1980 to the Present
2 The Demography of Religion in London since 1980
3 The 2012 London Church Census
4 Walking down the Old Kent Road: New Black Majority Churches in the London Borough of Southwark
5 New Churches in Newham
6 Using Geotagged Twitter Data to Uncover Hidden Church Populations
7 Growth and Decline in London Methodism, 1980 to the Present
Section Three: Ethnicity and London’s Churches
8 Mission Out of Africa: The Case of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in London
9 Brazilian churches in London
10 Capital-wide Missions and the Rise of London’s Black-led Churches
11 Demographics and the Russian Orthodox Church in London
Section Four: Denominational Shifts
12 London’s New Churches: The example of the Newfrontiers Network
Sam Jeffery and William K Kay
13 The Diocese of London and the Anglican Church in London, 1980 to the Present
14 Anglican Church Planting in East London, c. 2005-15
15 Visibly Different: Continuity and Change at Westminster Cathedral
Marion Bowman, Simon Coleman, John Jenkins, Tiina Sepp
Section Five: The Wider Historical and Sociological Contexts
16 Church Decline and Growth in London: Taking the Long View
17 London’s Churches: Sociological Perspectives