Unmarried Christians ‘ignored by Church’

Many single Christians feel “isolated, alone and lonely” within their churches, according to one of the first major studies into the experiences of unmarried worshippers.

The Church of England faces a “time bomb” as it focuses on family-friendly activities at a time when a growing proportion of the population lives alone, according to researchers.

The survey found that more than a third of Christians who are not married or in a relationship believe they are not treated the same as those that are part of conventional families.

Nearly four out of 10 single churchgoers said they often felt “inadequate or ignored” while 42.8% said their church did not know what to do with them. A total of 37% said they “did not feel treated as family members”.

The findings are based on the responses of 2,754 people who use the Christian dating site Christian Connection and suggest there is a significant minority of worshippers who feel alienated by the prevailing attitudes within Protestant denominations in Britain including the Church of England.