Implicit Religion, Vol 13, No 3 (2010)

You don’t have to go to church to be a good Christian: The implicit religion of rural Anglican churchgoers celebrating harvest

David Walker, Leslie Francis, Mandy Robbins
Issued Date: 19 Dec 2010


The notion that you don’t have to go to church to be a good Christian is accepted as an indicator of the form of implicit religiosity espoused by those who (in Bailey’s analysis) say that they “believe in Christianity.” The prevalence of this belief was examined in a sample of 1226 individuals attending harvest festival services in Anglican churches in rural Worcestershire. The data demonstrate that around two out of every three attenders (63%) endorsed this view of Christianity. The levels were highest among those who attended church less than six times a year (84%), and among those who never prayed (81%). Such high levels of endorsement among those who attend church for harvest festival services suggest that de-institutionalized implicit religion may be superseding commitment to conventional explicit religious attendance. This form of implicit religion could erode further the already weak connection between the rural church and rural society.

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DOI: 10.1558/imre.v13i3.319


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