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Busy lifestyles lead to bigger midweek congregations

Tue 25 Nov 2014
By Marcus Jones

The number of people attending midweek services at cathedrals has doubled in the past 10 years.

New figures from the Church of England suggest the desire for a place of peace in our increasingly busy lives is the reason behind the jump.

Back in 2003, midweek attendance at cathedrals stood at 7,500. Fast forward ten years and that number has risen to 15,000.

Dean of Lichfield, Adrian Dorber, said he's seen the need for people wanting a short snatch of peace midweek: "At the weekend you've got commitments with children doing sport, shopping, household maintenance - life's run at the double these days and weekends are very pressurised and committed.

"Taking out half an hour or an hour every week is much more negotiable."

Research published earlier this year show the main reasons chose to attend cathedral services were peace and contemplation, worship and music and friendly atmosphere.

Dean of York Minister, Vivienne Faull, said: "We do have the opportunity of allowing people to come in from the edges.

"If I take a Eucharist at 12.30 in the middle of the week in the nave of York Minster there'll be a lot of people who just slide in from the side.

"It's not so much about anonymity, there's the feeling there's a journey you can travel which doesn't require huge steps - it just requires one little step."

These latest stats also show a further increase the number attending cathedrals for Christmas services. It's risen from 117,200 in 2012 to 124,300 in 2013.

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