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PRESS RELEASE: Non–Brits Driving London’s Religious Resurgence

PRESS RELEASE: Non–Brits Driving London’s Religious Resurgence

Press Release for Theos’ latest report: “Religion in Public Life: Levelling the field”, published on 1st November 2017.

MIGRANT communities have driven a resurgence in religious belief and action  in London, according to a new report from the religion and society think tank Theos.Religion in Public Life, authored by the University of Exter’s Professor Grace Davie, is an exploration into the spiritual and worshipping patterns of the United Kingdom. The report looks at the state of faith based communities  in local, metropolitan and global settings, particularly in the wake of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump.

The report follows on from Professor Davies’ 1994 study, Religion in Britain since 1945 in association with the Institute of Contemporary British History. According to the report, the majority of the country’s newest and fastest growing churches and places of worship are being set up by migrant communities. Since 2012, more than a quarter of Church goers attend Pentecostal churches, which tend to be concentrated in urban areas with large diaspora communities such as London. 

The report calls for policy makers to become more literate in faith based  issues, rather than treating religious communities as ‘independent’ of urban planning. Throughout the study, professor Davie shows how Churches and other places of worship have become integral to the distribution of public services in cities, as well as playing a significant role in conversations around conservation and environmental sustainability – areas which have largely been considered as secular issues.

Elizabeth Oldfield, Director of Theos, said “This report shows again why policymakers at all levels need to take religion seriously. In the mid–20th–century London was considered a leading light of secularism.

“That’s not the case now. Religious people here are more active in their faith, and there are fewer people claiming to be nonreligious than elsewhere in the country. Faith communities offer amazing opportunities in social action – an ethic of care and a network of committed people. As our urban environments become more religious, it’s important that we move beyond outdated assumptions and grapple with what is really going on”.

Notes for Editors


  • Professor Grace Davie is a leading and internationally known sociologist of religion – the author of numerous monographs, papers and popular books on religion and society, most recently Religion in Britain: A Persistent Paradox (Wiley Blackwell, 2015).
  • Theos is the UK’s leading Religion and Society think tank. It has a broad Christian basis, and exists to enrich the debate about faith and society.
  • For comment further details please contact Hussein Kesvani on 07814093457
  • The full report is available to download here.

The Theos Team

The Theos Team

Posted 2 November 2017

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