Portland Software, a company based in Staffordshire, is offering to sell a database of names and addresses for the UK’s churches and its clergy – by denomination or geographical area. According to Portland Software, the latest figures for the UK’s ‘religious professionals’ are:
|Church of England Ministers||
|Church of Scotland Ministers||
|Free Church of Scotland Ministers||
|Seventh Day Adventists||
|United Reformed Ministers||
|Latter Day Saints||
Putting this into context, the entire ‘organised religion professionals’ in the UK could be fitted neatly into Crowthorne in Berkshire (population 24,082, according to www.citypopulation.de/UK-England.html) or Frome in Somerset (population 24,171). Hertford (24,460), Formby in Lancashire (24,478) and the appropriately named Bishop Auckland in County Durham (24,764) could accommodate them all with room to spare.
Worryingly, there was even a story a few years ago that, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics, ‘Some 25,700 people in Manchester “did not exist” as far as the last census was concerned’. The city tops the UK league for discrepancies between the 2001 census and address lists, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Hopefully, the UK’s ‘organised religion professionals’ won’t be overlooked like the ‘missing’ 25,700 people in Manchester – or their influence contained in one municipality.