New figures reveal rise in Church of England worshippers in the diocese

From the left are Chief Fire Officer Neil Odin, Margaret Aldridge, Yvonne Ferguson, daughter of Margaret, and Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor Ken Ellcome Picture: Duncan Shepherd (180086_010)

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ANGLICAN churches in Portsmouth have seen one of the largest rises in attendance across the country.

Figures released yesterday showed a six per cent rise in the number of worshippers in churches in the Diocese of Portsmouth on Sundays and throughout the week.

In 2010, 15,100 adults and children worshipped in Anglican churches in south-east Hampshire and the Isle of Wight – up from 14,200 in 2009. Half of the increase was among children and young people.

The Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, said: ‘These statistics date from before my time as bishop, but the evidence seems to show that where parishes have made mission and outreach a real priority, more people are joining us.’

The statistics showed that almost 1.7 million people attend each month nationally.