Big rise in people going to church
Jan 10 2009 by Sam Casey, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
STOCKS and shares, bank deposits, job numbers and shop profits might all be falling as a result of the recession.
But there’s one set of figures that may have been given an unexpected boost by the credit crunch – the number of people going to church.
Several places of worship in Huddersfield reported a rise in attendances over Christmas compared with 2007.
And one reason put forward for the phenomenon is people’s changing priorities in the face of financial hardship.
Catherine Ogle, the vicar at Huddersfield Parish Church, said congregations were up 20% to 50%. Charity donations also increased.
She said: “I think the credit crunch causes us to focus differently – instead of being focussed on the excitement of material possessions, we can concentrate on what’s more important and be more reflective.”
The Rev Richard Steel, from Kirkheaton Parish Church, said more than 900 people went to services over Christmas – a rise of 20%.
The number attending the carols by candlelight service rose from 256 to 328.
He said the increase was partly due to a new Sunday service pattern.
But he added: “These figures would seem to confirm a national trend that has seen more and more people coming to church at Christmas.