Major cities have long been seen as centres of secularisation. However, the number of congregations in London grew by 50% between 1979 and the present. London's churches have been characterised more by growth than by decline in the decades since 1980. The Desecularisation of the City provides the first academic survey of churches in London over recent decades, linking them to similar developments in other major cities across the West.
Produced by a large team of scholars from a range of disciplines, this volume offers a striking and original portrait of congregational life in London since 1980. Seventeen chapters explore the diverse localities, ethnicities and denominations that make up the church in contemporary London. The vitality of London's churches in the last four decades shows that secularisation is far from inevitable in the cities of the future.
This study necessitates a significant reassessment of the dominant academic portrayal of Christianity in Britain and the West, which has, mostly, depicted cities as secular spaces within a secularising culture. It will be of great interest to scholars working across a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, religious studies and theology.
Revd Dr David Goodhew is Director of Ministerial Studies, Cranmer Hall, St John's College, Durham University. He has edited four volumes on contemporary Christianity with Routledge, beginning with Church Growth in Britain: 1980 to the Present (2012).
Anthony-Paul Cooper is Research Fellow of the Centre for Church Growth Research at Cranmer Hall, St John's College, Durham University. Anthony-Paul has a background in social research, with previous research topics including new church use of `secular' and `sacred' space and the use of social media data to better understand church attendance and church growth.