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Reform Magazine | September 19, 2018

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Singled out

Singled out

Is your church welcoming to unmarried people? Are you sure? Catherine Francis considers the hidden pain of singles in the Church – and why it matters

Single people feel isolated, lonely and ignored in their churches, and many have given up on Church altogether. That’s the worrying conclusion of a major study by Single Friendly Church.

The feedback given by over 3,000 unmarried churchgoers – the largest ever survey of single Christians in the UK – makes for sobering reading. More than a third of respondents (never-married, divorced and widowed people) felt they were treated differently to people in couples. One in four said they often felt ‘inadequate or ignored’ and 43% said their churches ‘didn’t know what to do with them’. Many said they felt more valued outside the Church than within it.

Recent decades have seen a major societal shift towards singleness in the UK. However, many churches have failed to keep up with the changing needs of their congregations. This has led to a drift away from the Church by this growing section of the population, particularly in the 25 to 39 age range. In this age group, 13% of married adults in society attend church at least once a month but only 5% of single people attend church (according to a YouGov survey). …

Catherine Francis is Writer-editor for Single Friendly Church, based at United Reformed Church House, London. For more information, advice and resources, visit www.singlefriendlychurch.com

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the July/August 2018 edition of  Reform

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