A chance for the community to be heard
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, said, "It never did feel as if Norwich was a Godless city and the latest attendance figures show that churchgoing across the Diocese is on the increase.
"There are even more striking increases among the number of children and young people in church, up by 26% and Christmas attendances were up by 14%. 62,300 people attended services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - the equivalent of filling Carrow Road twice over with another ten thousand people left outside.
"All churches face big challenges in an increasingly secular age in which Sunday has become a day of shopping, sport and leisure activities. But the appeal of Jesus Christ has not diminished, and I pay tribute to the clergy and lay people of this diocese for the consistent and imaginative witness they make week in and week out. These statistics will be an encouragement to them in all the efforts they make to draw others to faith in Jesus Christ."
The statistics for the Church of England as a whole reveal a strong growing trend for Christmas attendance, an increase in baptisms and stability in weekly service attendance.
Almost half the dioceses (20 out of 44) saw an increase in churchgoing in 2011, and Church of England clergy and lay ministers married 1000 couples, baptise 2,600 children and adults and conducted over 3,00 funerals every week of the year.