This is a text-only version of an article first published on Monday, 10 June 2013. Information shown on this page may no longer be current.
THE number of churchgoers in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire has increased, statistics have revealed. Figures released on Tuesday (May 7, 2013) reveal that between 2010 and 2011 the number of people attending church on a weekly basis in the Diocese of Oxford went up from 54,400 to 57,000 - an increase of 3. 1 per cent. The Rt Revd Colin Fletcher, the Bishop of Dorchester, said: "These statistics are most encouraging and it's quite nice to see the statistics demonstrating what I have been seeing for some time now, that we are seeing a lot of growth. " Bishop Colin puts the increase down to people thinking hard about the meaning of life, and churches making an effort to become more welcoming. "In the middle of a recession you realise that just getting more things doesn't satisfy and people are asking bigger questions," he said.
"We have seen a large growth in work with young people and families.
There is Messy Church which is enormous fun and we are seeing a growth in uniformed organisations.
A lot of them are growing and they often have church links. "I was at Weston-on-the Green and Ducklington and both have put loos in recently.
Weston-on-the-Green have added coffee making facilities and that's part of a much more welcoming trend. "He says church is somewhere you can find community.
He said; "In Stadhampton they are turning the church into a village hall, so it is at the centre of the community.
I think people are looking for community, for something bigger than themselves. "For the national picture and a full break-down of the figures click here .