One in four Brits have engaged with some form of online worship during the coronavirus lockdown in 2020.
A study conducted by a Durham University research team has found a quarter of people have participated in some form of online religious activity during the Covid-19 pandemic through a tracking poll with Savanta ComRes.
Twenty-six per cent of respondents in July and 29 per cent in August said they had engaged in corporate worship online regularly — defined as ‘at least once a month’.
The team pointed out that this was a significantly higher rate of attendance in comparison to figures from the National Centre for Statistics that indicate about one in ten people regularly attend – many other estimates are much lower than this.
Researchers said: “Even if we accept that ten per cent is the norm, we are seeing research which suggests that up to 30 per cent of existing church attendees are not engaging in online worship.
“So, the comparative figure may be around 6–7 per cent. As such, the figures for attendance suggest a quadrupling of that figure for online engagement in July and August.
“In real term figures, this would see the attendance at online corporate religion rising from four million per Sunday to 19 million during the pandemic.”