Some interesting stuff last week from the Office for National Statistics when they published their biggest ever social survey. As they put it;
“The survey is comprised of a core suite of questions from six current ONS household surveys and contains information from nearly 450,000 individual respondents – the biggest pool of UK social data after the census.”
The headlines are
- 1.5 per cent of adults in the UK identified themselves as Gay/Lesbian or Bisexual
- 71 per cent of people in Great Britain stated their religion was Christianity, 8 per cent any other religion and 21 per cent No religious affiliation
- 89 per cent of people in the UK consider themselves in the White ethnic group
- across the UK, 80 per cent of men and 78 per cent of women report that they perceived themselves to be In good health
I suppose the most interesting area is the figures that relate to religion and faith.
There will inevitably be lessons that we can learn from the survey as it provides a snap shot of how people perceive themselves.
- The number of people who described themselves as Gay/Lesbian or Bisexual is actually very small (1.5 per cent). For those who have been pushing this particular agenda, the figures must be very disappointing.
- Another group chewing figures that must be hard to digest are the atheists. For all of the publicity and airtime devoted to attempts to disprove the existence of God, the figures are virtually unchanged from the 2001 census.
- The church faces a challenge in that there remains a huge gap between those who have an affiliation with Christianity and those who are practising Christians. The question asked was; ‘What is your religion, even if you are not currently practising?’
- The high number of people who described their religion as Christian must mean that there is still a great affinity with the Christian faith. We must reach out to those around us with the full gospel message.