Christian Practices: Christianity in Britain 1

What is the position of Christianity in Britain today?

The results of the 2011 census compared to the 2001 census, show an increase in diverse religious and nonreligious beliefs and practices (including those of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Humanism and Atheism), whilst also showing that over half of those who responded considered themselves Christian.  In these sessions, we will consider the position of Christianity in Britain.

Recap Questions to start…

How is Christmas celebrated?

Observing Advent, Nativity plays, exchanging gifts, spending time with family and friends.

What are the two types of baptism?

Infant and Believer

What is the Friday of Holy week/passion week also known as?

Good Friday

What festival occurs before Easter?


What term means all-powerful?


  • To investigate the position of Christianity in Britain
  • To describe the arguments for and against Christianity and its position in the UK
  • To explain your own interpretation/understanding.
  • Method to record learning – word document or pen and paper
  • Keep a log of work and send a copy to your teacher via e-mail if possible, if not hold on to until you see your teacher in person. (It should take 30-60 mins).
  • Additionally you can mail work to:


Task 1

In 2014 the BBC, in response to David Cameron (former British Prime Minister) stating the UK is a ‘Christian Country’, wrote the following arguments. 
Which do you agree with and why?  Can you mention an opposing view in your response?

The 2011 census – 59% of residents in England Wales described themselves as Christian.Church attendance is down.
England has an established Church.  Its bishops sit in the House of Lords. The Queen is both head of state and also supreme governor of the Church of England. One of the monarch’s titles is Defender of the Faith.Waning influence: The laws relating to abortion, same-sex marriage, the teaching of homosexuality, adoption and other issues have changed in spite of vocal opposition from religious groups. For secularists, this is evidence that the Church’s prestige and importance is no longer what it once was.    
Christianity is cultural: it has a role in day-to-day life and celebrations e.g. carol singing.Non-Christian influence: Britain has been shaped by many non-Christian influences and the religious contributions should not be over emphasized.
Christianity structures the UK calendar.Other religion and non-religious groups are increasing in population.

Task 2

How do we get from Jesus to the great big church – all the great big churches – we have today? Well, it’s a long and complicated story, involving emperors, crusaders, popes, castration and a lot of arguments. Here it all is in just ten minutes, so hold on tight. Watch and note at least 10 bullet points about Christianity in Britain.

Task 3

Note the details of the 2001 to 2011 census data. 
Religious populations from the 2001 and 2011 censuses
Every ten years the government conducts a census. The census is a questionnaire that must be completed by every household in order to record information about the population. Every question must be completed, except the question asking about religion, which is optional.
The census figures from 2001 and 2011 (the most recent census) show that Christianity is the majority religion in England and Wales. However, the proportion of people who said they were Christian fell by over 10 per cent between 2001 and 2011, while people identifying has having ‘no religion’ rose by 10 percent.
The census also shows that England and Wales are becoming more religiously diverse, with growing numbers of Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and ‘other religions’.
Source: BBC –


The position of Christianity in the UK is very much open to interpretation. Whilst the country’s history and timetable undoubtedly has origins in this faith, the expansion of the world, acceptance of over faith practices and assimilation of certain traditions into secular lifestyle all play a part in the position of the Christian faith today.

Extras: Test yourself – use the following exam board supported website – Seneca, to assess your understanding on this topic.

Exam Question

The UK is a Christian country.’
Discuss this statement showing that you have considered more than one point of view. (You must refer to religion and belief in your answer.) [15]
REMEMBER: One possible exam technique – Frame
Many………(Christians/Buddhists/people) would agree with this because………(link
with religion and belief

Furthermore, they might also say that……….(expanded or different viewpoint – link
with sources of authority

These arguments are valid/weak/strong/make sense because………(formulating

On the other hand/however/additionally…. (alternative or opposing views)
some…………might disagree because…………(link with religion and belief)

In addition they could argue that……(expanded or different view – link with sources
of authority and show the effects of belief on practice

These arguments are valid/weak/strong/make sense because………(formulating

Conclusion (but not obligatory) with own opinion given (but not obligatory). If own
opinion given, use it as another opportunity to link with religion and belief e.g. ‘Like
many Christians/Buddhists/Atheists, I would argue that………because……..’