Crreative Commons/ Celestial Photography

Just 18 per cent of Brits say Bible relevant to them personally

Tue 05 Nov 2019
By Heather Preston

A new study on what people in the UK think about God and the Bible has found only 18 per cent believe the Bible is relevant to them personally despite 40 per cent identifying as Christian.

The Bible Society surveyed nearly 20,000 people in what is thought to be the largest review of faith, values and attitudes to the Bible in England and Wales.

Chief executive of the charity, Paul Williams told Premier the organisation conducted the research to get a better understanding of the spiritual views of the UK population and learn how to be "a mission partner to the British church."

 

The Faith in England and Wales report also found 61 per cent of those surveyed think it is good for children to know Bible stories while over half of adults believe the Bible shapes our culture.

Williams said these findings should encourage believers to evangelise: "We have an opportunity to show people how this book, which they know is significant for our culture, and they know is something that they would like their children to know about, is actually deeply, personally relevant to them. And that's what we've got to learn how to communicate."

He went on to say that a key finding from the research was that 25 per cent of the population claimed to be spiritually open to faith and learning more about the Bible.

In response to the data, the Christian charity has launched a new online resource to help church leaders find out more about their community.

The website called Lumino provides insights about a local population's churchgoing frequency, religious affiliation and interests in the Bible.

It identifies eight spiritual 'personas' that members of their local community may fit into, ranging from "Bible Loving" to "Bible Dismissive".

Users can enter their location and find out what proportion of their constituency falls into which category.

Williams said: "We will be adding new resources constantly to better help understand how these insights can be applied to mission, but we're also designing resources for people who are interested in knowing more about the Bible but aren't currently engaging with it or going to church.

"This data will give us great ability to design resources specifically for those groups who have an openness but not a knowledge."

Williams says the research revealed that many people feel overwhelmed by the scale of the Bible, finding the content out of date and difficult to read.

The Bible Society hopes the digital platform which includes a range of video resources will help people experience the Bible more effectively.

"We want to help grow confidence in the Bible amongst Christians. We know that there has been some knocking of that confidence for all kinds of reasons, including the secularity of our culture.

"And we want to change the conversation about the Bible, amongst non-Christians. We know that often we'll hear in the media, for example, that the Bible is outdated, contradictory, homophobic but actually, there's a high percentage of the population who don't really know the Bible, but are interested by it and think it might be a source of guidance and a source of hope, but they don't really know how to access it for themselves.

"We're really keen to give an experience of the Bible that will land exactly with their experience and expectations of it."

 

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