Secularization and church growth in the UK

Steve Bruce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Evidence that there are small areas of stability and growth in UK church life has been presented as refutation of the secularization paradigm. This would only be valid if the secularization paradigm required that decline be universal, even, and rapid. This essay argues the secularization requires none of these things, clarifies the ambiguity in phrases such as ‘church growth,’ and demonstrates that local growth falls far short of compensating for much larger areas of decline. It also considers what sorts of changes would be required for any reversal of secularization in the United Kingdom and demonstrates their unlikelihood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-296
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Religion in Europe
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • United Kingdom
  • secularization
  • religion
  • church growth


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