ONLY half of the people who attend church over the festive period will go on Christmas Day itself, a new poll has suggested.
Research by Sky Data found that, while 17 per cent, one in six, of those surveyed planned go to church at some point over Christmas, just nine per cent said that they would attend on Christmas Day.
People in London are the likeliest to go to church on Christmas Day: 14 per cent of those polled intended to attend a service.
Overall, declining church attendance figures are reflected in the data, with almost three-quarters of people, 74 per cent, saying they would not attend church at all in December.
Young adults aged 18-24 are the least likely to attend church: just three per cent of those surveyed said that they would be going along to a service.
None the less, the Prime Minister told the country to be proud of its Christianity and religious freedom in her Christmas message.
Theresa May urged people to take “pride in our Christian heritage and the confidence it gives us to ensure that in Britain you can practise your faith free from question or fear. . .
“Let us remember those around the world today who have been denied those freedoms, from Christians in some parts of the Middle East to the sickening persecution of the Rohingya Muslims.”
More than 620,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar in recent months, after violent repression by the country’s security forces (News, 6 October).
Mrs May, who is the daughter of a vicar, is a regular churchgoer, and the Government has repeatedly stated its commitment to religious freedom across the world (News, 15 December).