British Unitarian numbers update

British Unitarian minister and blogger Stephen Lingwood gives us his annual update of membership numbers in the Unitarian and Free Christian Churches in England, Wales and Scotland. (Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have a different history and related, but distinct, denomination.)

The news is not good; a sharp decrease. Reminds me of the opening sequence of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series, which gives the census of surviving human beings. The British Unitarians and Free Christians now number 3,179.  When I was a youngster, it was about 15,000.

He refers to an annual report. We don’t get them on this side of the Atlantic, but you can download one. (PDF)



By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. The British Assembly seems to be well organized. I appreciated the clarity of their report. But I wonder, with regards to their numbers, how does one organize for a future that may likely be one of being a “faithful remnant”?

  2. Noticed that no UK congregation had more than 100 members, and that a sizable portion (perhaps a quarter) had less than ten members. Even in it’s more enthusiastic support of the Fellowship Movement the AUA/UUA didn’t see anything under 15 members as being a sustainable congregation…
    Also this years UK totals declined by 6%, kind of puts the UUA downward creep into perspective.

  3. Several days ago, I got a comment that I’ve held in the moderation queue. It quotes other people extensively — if people want to comment, that’s one thing, but I don’t want this blog to be a dumping ground. I tried to contact the commenter, but the supplied email address failed.

    A search showed that the comment left with me was made of the three more substantive comments on one of Stephen Lingwood’s posts on the same subject in 2011. I’m linking to that instead of approving the comment.

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