The Church of Scotland’s National Youth Assembly is set to be held in
Dundee’s Apex City Quay Hotel this weekend. This key annual event will run
between Friday 5 September and Monday 8 September. As in previous years,
demand for places has been strong with over 300 delegates aged 16 – 25
from all over Scotland, England and Europe expected to attend.
coincide with the National Youth Assembly, the Church of Scotland has
released the result of research carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the
Mission & Discipleship Council. This has revealed a number of significant
facts about "Young People’s attitudes to the Church and religion". The
information gathered is based on responses received from a Scotland-wide
survey of 2,221 secondary school pupils aged between 11-18 years.
of the findings of the research suggest that Scotland’s young people are a
lot more positive about the Church, and Christianity as a whole, than
received wisdom would suggest. Major points include:
Fully 10% of young people attend a Church of Scotland service each
week, and more than a third of young people have attended a Church of
Scotland service in the last year.
The majority of young people believe that having a religious belief is
positive or potentially positive.
27% of respondents said that they believe in God, as opposed to 26%
who say that they do not. Despite this, 43% stated a belief in Heaven.
There is some work to be done, however, as the results found that only 16%
of respondents have talked to God through prayer, while over a quarter
claimed that they had never attended a church service. A majority agreed
that they did not know much about the Church of Scotland.
the findings of the study, Steve Mallon, youth specialist with the Church
of Scotland said: "These findings provide an interesting snapshot into the
attitudes young people may have to faith and ideas specifically about the
Church and Christianity.
"While these figures present some key
challenges they also offer the Church a number of opportunities. This
information will inform our way ahead as we seek to engage with young
people and the ideas they already have about faith.
saying they believe in God or know about the Kirk are higher than many
commentators would expect. Clearly many young people still value the
religious dimension in life. In addition, many organisations and
businesses would be happy with the level of ‘brand awareness’ that the
Kirk seems to have."
"As the National Youth Assembly meets in
Dundee, we are challenged to get on with the job of reaching out to, and
adding value to the lives of, Scotland’s young people."
story at the Church