In response to the findings of the St Mary’s University, Twickenham statistical report on ‘Contemporary Catholicism in England and Wales’ based on recent British Social Attitudes survey data, the Bishop Chair of the Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Bishop Mark O’Toole has said:
“The social attitude surveys, on which this useful report from the Benedict XVI Centre for Religion and Society is based, demonstrate the challenge to Christian evangelisation in this country. While the Catholic population has remained relatively steady over the past 30 years since the surveys started, this headline figure disguises the change in make-up of the Catholic population and also the way Catholics practise their faith.
“The Catholic Bishops’ of England and Wales base their pastoral priorities on research data as well as local diocesan experience and parish practice. This report will help hone priorities. Evangelisation initiatives such as Crossing the Threshold and Proclaim have been born from this growing awareness that there are many people who may have left regular practice of their faith; that there are a large number of people who are curious about faith and want to explore further. The Church is committed to reaching out to those who are seeking meaning in their lives and helping them discover the joy of an encounter with Christ.”