Major cities have long been seen as centres of secularisation. However, the number of congregations in London grew by 50% between 1979 and the present. London’s churches have been characterised more by growth than by decline in the decades since 1980. The Desecularisation of the City provides the first academic survey of churches in London over recent decades, linking them to similar developments in other major cities across the West.

Produced by a large team of scholars from a range of disciplines, this volume offers a striking and original portrait of congregational life in London since 1980. Seventeen chapters explore the diverse localities, ethnicities and denominations that make up the church in contemporary London. The vitality of London’s churches in the last four decades shows that secularisation is far from inevitable in the cities of the future.

This study necessitates a significant reassessment of the dominant academic portrayal of Christianity in Britain and the West, which has, mostly, depicted cities as secular spaces within a secularising culture. It will be of great interest to scholars working across a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, religious studies and theology.

section Section I|38 pages

The desecularisation of the city

chapter 1|36 pages

The Desecularisation of the City: London’s Churches, 1980 to the Present

ByDavid Goodhew, Anthony-Paul Cooper

section Section II|128 pages

Changes in London’s churches, 1980 to the present

chapter 2|19 pages

The demography of religion in London since 1980 1

ByEric Kaufmann

chapter 3|26 pages

The 2012 London Church Census

ByPeter Brierley

chapter 4|19 pages

Walking down the Old Kent Road

New black-majority churches in the London Borough of Southwark
ByAndrew Rogers

chapter 5|29 pages

New churches in Newham

ByColin Marchant

chapter 6|14 pages

Using geotagged Twitter data to uncover hidden church populations

ByAnthony-Paul Cooper

chapter 7|19 pages

Growth and decline in London Methodism, 1980 to the present

ByAlan Piggot

section Section III|71 pages

Ethnicity and London’s churches

chapter 8|18 pages

Mission out of Africa

The case of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in London
ByBabatunde Adedibu

chapter 9|15 pages

Brazilian churches in London

ByDaniel Clark

chapter 11|19 pages

Demographics and the Russian Orthodox Church in London

ByRobert Collins

section Section IV|89 pages

Denominational shifts

chapter 12|21 pages

London’s new churches

The example of the Newfrontiers network
BySam Jeffery, William K. Kay

chapter 14|19 pages

Anglican church planting in East London, circa 2005–2015

ByTim Thorlby

chapter 15|28 pages

Visibly different

Continuity and change at Westminster Cathedral
ByMarion Bowman, Simon Coleman, John Jenkins, Tiina Sepp

section Section V|34 pages

The wider historical and sociological contexts

chapter 16|14 pages

Church decline and growth in London

Taking the long view 1
ByJohn Wolffe

chapter 17|18 pages

London’s churches

Sociological perspectives 1
ByGrace Davie