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Majority of Church leaders encourage dating services

Sat 14 Feb 2015
By Antony Bushfield

A new survey has found more than three quarters of church leaders would encourage singles in their church to go a dating agency.

The research by friendsfirst, the UK's largest Christian 'offline' dating service, found 77% of leaders support the use of dating services to find love.

It also found that there was still a strong feeling that Christians should only date other Christians, not have one night stands and no sex before marriage.

Relationships with a non-Christian were found to be the chief reason for Christian singles leaving the church [45%], rather than loss of faith [26%], or disagreements over theology [20%].

Katharine Gray, Director of friendsfirst, said: "This problem is not just about single people. It's a more extensive problem that if left unchecked will lead to thousands of singles turning their back on the church.

"The desire for a partner is core to the human condition and rather than trusting just to prayer and fate, the church must acknowledge that singles need support and encouragement to address what can be a sensitive issue."

The survey released to coincide with Valentine's Day also showed that in an average church, single men make up less than 10% of the congregation.

But single women make up on average 25% of a congregation.

It was also found that half of church leaders had never preached on the issues of dating, abstinence and authentic masculinity.

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