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Churches and faith: Attitude towards church buildings during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown among churchgoers in England

Village, Andrew ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2174-8822 and Francis, Leslie J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2946-9980 (2021) Churches and faith: Attitude towards church buildings during the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown among churchgoers in England. Ecclesial Practices. (In Press)

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Abstract

Attitude toward church buildings was assessed among a sample of 6,476 churchgoers in England during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in 2020. The six item Scale of Attitude toward Church Buildings (SACB) assessed a range of aspects of attitude that included the importance of buildings for Christian faith generally, buildings as witness to the faith, buildings as a motivation for faith, buildings as part of Christian identity, and buildings as central to the expression of Christian faith. The scale showed good internal reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = .77). Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics showed similar positive attitude towards buildings, Anglican Evangelicals showed a less positive attitude on average that was similar to those from Free-Churches, while Broad-Church Anglican attitude lay between these two extremes. Among Anglo-Catholics and Roman Catholics, younger people had a more positive attitude than older people, but this was not evident in other traditions, where the trend was if anything reversed. On average, men had more a positive attitude than women, and lay people a more positive attitude than clergy, though both trends were small in magnitude. These findings suggest that the significance of buildings varies among traditions in ways that may still reflect historical issues of the Reformation, but more detailed and nuanced work would be needed to explain some of the trends evident in this study.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology > BV4485-5099 Practical religion. The Christian life
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology > BV598-603 The Church
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology > BV700-707 Parish. Congregation. The local church
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4990

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