Church denominations: Which denominations took part? How did they differ?

 The majority of respondents to our survey attended Church of England churches. Differences between the church denominations were not as marked as those between types of church. The style of worship and nature of the faith community, described in types of church, show greater differences in attitude, behaviour and beliefs than denomination.

The main differences between the largest denominations was the degree to which they were reported as concerned about sexual morality and marrying other Christians. Anglicans said that their churches were least concerned about this.


Church denominations attended by survey respondents


Differences between church denominations

Members of the Anglican church

  • More agreed than not that the ethos of the church is too feminine and not attractive to the average single man.
  • There is less guidance from the church leader on relationships and issues of singleness.
  • Far fewer (39%) say that they have heard their church leader say that Christians should marry only those that share their faith, compared to over half (52%) of all the other denominations .
  • Being single, members enjoy less the space and time to devote themselves to prayer (42%) than other denominations (51%).
  • Anglicans are the most frequent daters (46%) compared to the rest (39%) and have dated quite often or a few times in the last year.
  • They think that it is less likely they will meet a potential partner through church or church-related events (55% compared to 60%).
    • They see more possibilities in pubs or clubs than others (41% compared to 33%).
    • Fewer believe in leaving this part of their lives to God (25% compared to 34%).
  • They are distinctive in being less interested in attending an event or conference to help raise awareness of singleness issues (24% compared to average 30%).

Members of the Charismatic churches


Members of Anglican and Charismatic churches share one thing in common: they both socialise generally more than other denominations (respectively 45% and 50% compared to the average 35%).

Marriage and sex

Members of the three most attended churches showed differences in their statements about marriage and sex:

Fewer than 5 in 10 Anglicans would never marry a non-Christian (49%), whereas the average is 6 in 10 (60%), and in Charismatic and Evangelical independent churches number 7 in 10 (70%).

Anglicans think it less of 'utmost importance' to avoid sex before marriage (33%) compared to the average (50%) and Evangelical independent (52%) and Charismatic churches (57%). They are less fine that it belongs only in marriage (45%), compared to 52% average and 60% Charismatic.

Members of the Anglican church are less supportive of the Church taking a strong and strict line against sex outside of and before marriage (27%) compared to average 39% and Evangelical independent 45%.

For more detail, take a look at the differences between church denominations in figures.


In figures: Differences by denomination

We identified the following statistically significant differences by type of church attended. (Read about the methodology used.) This was tested first with the denomination with greatest number of people attending, then the second, third, etc. After the four listed below, the numbers were considered too small to be as statistically strong.

  • Anglican
  • Baptist
  • Charismatic new church
  • Evangelical independent

The following statistical differences were found.


Agreement to 'The ethos of the church is too feminine, it is not very attractive to the average single man.'


Positivity Rating to 'The ethos of the church is too feminine, it is not very attractive to the average single man.'


Read comments about acceptance of singles by churches (add link)


How helpful do you find your church leader's advice on relationships and issues of singleness?

Read comments about what church leaders can do and be (add link)


Have you ever discussed singleness with one of your church leaders on a one to one basis?


Have you heard your church leader(s) teach that Christians should only marry those who share their faith?


Being single I enjoy: The space and time to devote myself to faith/prayer


Frequency of involvement in socialising/activities/hobbies

Socialising with close friends: At least once a week


Socialising generally: At least once a week


Frequency of dates: I go on dates quite often/I have been on a few dates in the last year


Best way to meet potential partners

Through church and church related events


Going to pubs or clubs


I believe in leaving this part of my life to God


Could there be any circumstances in which you would marry a non-Christian?


What is your view on sex before marriage? Sex belongs only in marriage and I am fine with that


How important is it to avoid sex before marriage for you, as a practising Christian? The most important

What do you think of the church's attitude towards and teaching on sexual ethics?


The Church is right to take a strong and strict line against sex outside of and before marriage and speak out against it


In general, there are more women in the church than men. How do you feel about this?


If you had access to a Christian counselling service through your church with whom to discuss issues around singleness and relationships, would you use it?


Would you be interested in attending an event or conference which might help raise awareness of singleness issues?


How do you feel your own church could better encourage its single members?

Churches should encourage singles in leadership roles


Methodological note

In addition to the denominations identified in the graph 'Church denomination', 8% of respondents noted they were ‘Other’.

The largest denominations in the survey were sequentially tested against all the others for differences. Although there were differences for the top three, no differences were found for the fourth (the Baptist church) compared to the average response. For resource reasons, we then ended sequential testing as the type of church was considered to be more important and interesting. The Anglican church, for example, contains within it many individual churches who would more closely associate themselves with other evangelical or charismatic churches.