Skip to main content

Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present

Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present

The publishers Routledge have published a volume entitled Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present in late 2016, fruit of a five-year research project by an international team of researchers, edited by David Goodhew.

The volume explores church growth and decline across the worldwide Anglican communion. The Anglican Communion has seen dramatic church growth and decline across recent decades. This volume offers the first detailed study of such growth and decline, from 1980 to the present, by means of a range of case studies across five continents. The case studies will look at Kenya, Congo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, India, Singapore, Korea, Australia, the USA, parts of Latin America and England. There will also be an overview by the religious demographer, Professor Todd Johnson.

The project uses new research from a wide range of significant scholars, balancing scholarship from the Global South and Global North. Contributors include senior and widely known scholars from leading universities alongside younger, up-and-coming researchers.

The volume will situate the trajectories of the various provinces of Anglicanism, alongside the trajectories of other Christian churches and wider debates about secularisation and ‘re-sacralisation’.

The volume will be of interest to a wide range of people in the Anglican church, in academia and beyond.

The Anglican communion is one of the largest Christian denominations. Composed of diverse churches scattered across much of the globe, it has experienced significant church growth and decline in recent decades. Although it is now widely stated that Anglicanism is predominantly to be found in the developing world, the fine detail of such a statement urgently needs unpacking. The scale and nature of church growth and decline has been little studied. Presuppositions – such as the assumption that western churches are mostly declining and non-western churches mostly growing – need testing.

In particular, the fine detail of growth and decline urgently needs study. Many comment that the Anglican church in Africa is growing – but it is not growing at the same rate everywhere. Eastern Africa is seeing greater growth than South Africa and West Africa is growing faster than both the East and the South. Likewise, whilst Anglicanism tends, overall, to be shrinking in western nations, it is not shrinking everywhere in the west.

The exact nature of growth and decline requires detailed attention. For example, in some developing countries, some Anglican churches have ‘pentecostalised’ in recent decades, but this has been little charted or analysed. This volume allows critically-informed, interdisciplinary discussion of the nature of the growth which is happening in growing Anglican churches, especially those of Anglicanism in the Global South. Global Anglicanism has for several decades been hit by serious divisions. This volume is not about such divisions, but provides essential background material for making sense of them.

Global Anglicanism offers an opportunity to discuss a range of theories concerning secularisation and what is sometimes called ‘re-sacralisation’. Mapping the recent trajectories of the Anglican communion provides one way to test such theories – suggesting that Christianity may be, to use Philip Jenkins’ formulation, neither as weak nor as strong as many commentators assume.

The proposed book stands alone, but also relates back to the earlier volumes on church growth in Britain and on the theology of church growth. The book will be coming out at the end of 2016.

Church Growth and Decline in Global Anglicanism: 1980 to the Present Day
Table of Contents


1                                  Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present

                                    David Goodhew


2                                  The Changing Demographics of Global Anglicanism, 1970-2010

                                    Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo


3                                  Ghana

                                    Daniel Eshun

4                                  Nigeria

                                    Richard Burgess

5                                  Congo
                                    Yossa Way with Emma Wild Wood

6                                  Kenya

                                    Joseph Galgalo

7                                  South Africa

                                    Barbara Bompani


8                                  The Church of South India

                                    Anderson Jeremiah

9                                  Singapore

                                    Daniel Wee                 

10                                South Korea

                                    Andrew Kim   

11                                Australia

                                    Ruth Powell

The Americas

12                                The United States of America

                                    Jeremy Bonner

13                                The Anglican Province of South America

                                    Maurice Sinclair and John Corrie


14                                The Church of England

                                    David Voas


15                                Graham Kings   

Major CCGR conference coming on 24 February 2017

To launch the new volume published by Ashgate, “Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 to the Present”, the CCGR is organising a conference on 24 February 2017, hosted by Whitelands College, part of the University of Roehamption in west London. The conference will explore patterns of growth and decline within the member churches of the Anglican Communion. It will include sessions on England, the USA, Nigeria, Congo, Latin America and other parts of the communion. In addition, the Rt Revd Graham Kings, recently appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as Mission Theologian in the Anglican Communion, will set the findings in a wider theological setting. It will be of interest to academics, church leaders and all interested in patterns of church growth and secularization in the modern world. Conference booking will open in the coming months and will include special rates for postgraduate students. The conference also forms part of celebrations of the 175th anniversary of the foundation of Whitelands College.

Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion arrives at different conclusions to those of a recent article by Daniel Muñoz in the Journal of Anglican Studies. For a detailed discussion of why Growth and Decline does so, please follow this link.