A survey by the group Christian Research published in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper showed that around 862,000 worshippers attended Catholic Mass each week in 2006, exceeding the 852,000 who went to Church of England services.
Attendance at Anglican services has almost halved over the past 40 years as the country has grown steadily more secular, the research showed, with only Pentecostalism showing any rise in popularity among Christian denominations.
While attendance figures for both Catholic and Anglican services are declining, Catholic numbers are slipping by a lesser degree as new migrants arrive from east Europe and parts of Africa, boosting Catholic congregations.
In an attempt to combat the declining interest in traditional religion, the Anglican Church has launched radical new forms of evangelism that include nightclub chaplains, a floating church on a barge and internet congregations.
"A part of the reason for the increase [in the number of practicing Catholics] is that you have a large number of immigrants coming from Catholic countries, especially Poland." British authorities say that at least 300,000 Poles have come to Great Britain since joining the EU in 2004, while polish sources place the number at closer to one million, of which half have centered around London.
Unmentioned in the Sunday Telegraph's coverage of the story is what effect, if any, the ongoing schism within the Anglican communion may be having on Church attendance. Might British traditionalists be growing as disillusioned with their post-modern church, as many of their US counterparts are? Maybe, just maybe, it's not about where it is being taught, whether on land or on "floating barges", but simply what is being taught... or rather, what is no longer being taught.
If one's faith teaches that anything goes, then why need a God at all to help us live that kind of life? If every behavior is equally healthy and helpful to the community at large, then why even have faith to begin with, since there would exist no better version of ourselves to imagine aiming ourselves to become?