Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Church of England’s Income

Although the year for these data is not given, the website of the Church of England (link) states that it takes £1,040 million to run the church. This comes to £16.70 per capita—and amounts to 0.07 percent of the U.K.’s GDP in 2010 of £1.458 trillion. I looked up these numbers because I’m reading Trollope’s Barchester Chronicle series, and wondered just how important the Church of England is today. The church operates 13,000 parishes and 43 cathedrals.

These numbers, put into dollars at the current conversion rate, produce $1,654 million to run the church, thus $26.55 per capita; the UK’s GDP was $2.319 trillion.

Now for a somewhat unfair comparison—unfair because we don’t have an established church here and I can only produce numbers for total religious contributions for the United States. In 2010 we gave $100,630 million to religious establishments. That comes out at $325 per capita and is 0.69 percent of our 2010 GDP of $14.527 trillion.

It strikes me that this country is much, much more religious—but that’s well known of course. This would be so even if we doubled the Church of England estimates. That we are justified in doing so emerges when we realize that of the total population reporting to be believers, the Church of England claims 38.8 percent, other Christian denominations 50.3 percent, and non-Christian faiths 10.9 percent.

In the divide between “church” and “chapel”—and even more if we expand that to include “mosque”—the chapel carries the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment