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Church Attendance and Cohabitation: A Study Exploring Marital Status Among Churchgoers

Lankshear, David W., Village, Andrew ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2174-8822 and Francis, Leslie J. (2022) Church Attendance and Cohabitation: A Study Exploring Marital Status Among Churchgoers. In: Francis, Leslie J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2946-9980 and Lankshear, D. W., (eds.) The Science of Congregation Studies. Springer, pp. 191-203

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Congregation surveys enable otherwise invisible aspects of the lives of churchgoers to become visible and, as a consequence, for the diverse social and personal lives of churchgoers to be taken more seriously into account. One such aspect concerns marital status. For example, traditional church teaching on sex, marriage, and family life has tended to discourage cohabitation. This leads to the hypotheses that frequent churchgoers may be less likely to embrace cohabitation as a lifestyle choice and that cohabitees who are churchgoers may be less strongly committed to frequent attendance. In this chapter, these hypotheses were tested among 25,095 churchgoers from across the three Episcopal Areas within the Diocese of Southwark who were over the minimum age for marriage (16 years) and who completed the Signs of Growth questionnaire. The data demonstrated that, compared with single or married churchgoers, cohabiting churchgoers were less likely to attend church weekly and less likely to feel that their Christian faith influences their important decisions in life.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-76107-3_9
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/8296

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