Our mission and history

We didn't mean to start a campaign towards a single friendly church. But, when Christian Connection founder Jackie Elton conducted a survey among single Christians about their experiences of church, she received more than 3,000 responses. The results showed that the church needed to do much more to reach out to, welcome and include single people. So, in 2014, we formed an organisation to help achieve this and in 2016 we launched Single Friendly Church as a campaign.

Our History

As the founder of the internet dating website Christian Connection, Jackie recognised that many single Christians shared similar experiences of church life but she wasn't sure how widespread they were. To find out, she ran a survey in 2012 through the Christian Connection site. Jackie originally thought getting real interest would be a challenge and was surprised by how many people responded.

Single people were delighted  to have an opportunity to share their views. When Dr David Pullinger analysed the data there were more surprises --  highlighting the difficulties many singles face in church. It soon became clear that single Christians needed encouragement and that church leaders needed to be equipped to provide it. Jackie and David, together with Joff Williams  decided to form Single Friendly Church (for a time called Single Christians), a Community Interest Company (similar to a charity).

David officially launched the organisation and website www.singlechristians.co.uk on Monday, 25 August 2014 at Greenbelt. A recording from that event is now available online. Many people want to support helping the church move towards being more single-friendly, but they themselves may not be single or choose not to align themselves with being single.  Single Friendly Church is our way of helping to make the Church a genuinely inclusive place that affirms people who are or feel single.

Our Aims

We initially thought that we could inspire and encourage single Christians ourselves, but we've learned that this can be achieved more effectively through local churches. Therefore our focus is on stimulating the Church to become single friendly. 

Our vision is of a church which welcomes, values and celebrates single people and our commitment is to the following.

  • We commit to helping to create churches that are friendly and welcoming to unpartnered single people, whatever their current or previous marital status, age, gender, sexuality or ethnicity.
  • We aim for churches in which the number of single people is representative of the local community and society.
  • We look forward to a time when church communities are places where single people can thrive and participate fully in the life and ministry of the church.
  • We call on church leaders actively to support single people in their congregations and communities.

How can we work through local churches most effectively?

We have a three-pronged approach to this.

  1. Raising awareness in the media through new research.

    Since the original survey, we have conducted two further surveys through YouGov plc and Christian Research Ltd (see The research).  These were geared towards finding the numbers of different types of marital status in the Christian church and the issues single people face.
  1. Engaging with leaders, either by speaking at leaders’ meetings, whether regional or national, or at individual churches on request.

    We have spoken at Diocesan Synods and the big Christian festivals attended by church leaders, including New Wine, Spring Harvest and Greenbelt. For a longer list see this page.
  1. Providing ideas, information and resources specifically for church leaders that are easily accessible and free on a website.

    There are currently few immediate resources available to church leaders associated with singleness, especially with the range of issues associated with being single in UK society. We are developing a wide range of material that can be retrieved quickly and used sensitively and helpfully.