Religious people "are more charitable" - Church response to BBC stats
08 June 2014
• Spin the Wheel of Generosity
According to statistics released by the BBC today, people who
practise a religion are more likely to say they have given to
charity in the last month than those who don't.
The ComRes survey, commissioned by the BBC showed that:
• Three quarters of people in living in England who practise a
religion (77%) have given to charity in the past month. This
compares to only two thirds of English people who do not practise a
• They are also more likely to believe their friends or family
donate. 73% of religious practitioners believe their friends or
family have donated to charity in the past month, compared to 64%
of those who do not practise a religion.
This year, the Methodist Church is encouraging people to rethink
what it means to be generous in their local contexts as part of the
Responding to the statistics, the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General
Secretary of the Methodist Church, said: "Religious faith should
motivate people to acts of generosity and it's good to see this
reflected in these figures. Of course, financial giving is only
part of the picture. For some people a simple act of kindness, or
the very fact that someone has made time for them, can mean more
than any financial gift. But every act of generosity, however
small, bears witness to a generous and loving God and helps to
change the world for good."
A range of resources is available to help congregations explore
their vision, commitment and generosity within the local church and
its community. People can also spin an online Wheel of
Generosity and commit to small acts of kindness as part of the
When asked about the people who had inspired them to be generous,
one respondent said:
"When the woman who worked as my cleaner and childminder in South
Africa (a 'domestic worker') offered to take on an AIDS orphan who
was rummaging through our bin on bin collection day - she had so
little but was willing to give so much. It inspired me to adopt a
child permanently as a member of our family."
"I am what I am today because of the generosity of time and energy
of my Boys' Brigade Officers in Scotland. I was there for five
years, walked out at the end of those five years and have never
seen them again. They may think they had failed but they planted a
seed. One day we will meet again and they will be so surprised that
I not only became a Christian but a minister."
1. Methodology Note: ComRes interviewed 2,606 English adults by
telephone between 28th February and 23rd March 2014. Data were
weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+.
2. A range of images to accompany A Generous Life can be found