Media Release: It makes sense to complete the Census, says church leaders

TWO of Scotland’s most senior church leaders have encouraged their members to make their voices heard in this year’s Census.

The Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend John Christie, and the Most Reverend David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld and Dunblane, and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, say that by completing the Census it will enable churches to better help future congregations.

Every household has received a questionnaire asking 13 questions about the household and up to 35 questions about each household member. The once-in-a-decade survey gives a snapshot of the nation and how people live in every community.

Census’s date back to the birth of Jesus when according to the Gospel of St Luke, Mary and Joseph had to travel from their home in Nazareth to Bethlehem, to complete a Census ordered by Rome for the purpose paying tax.

Mr Christie said: “The 2011 Census is not about tax. We are all required to be part of it because the information gleaned from it will enable government and local authorities to plan accurately to meet the needs and aspirations of the diverse Scottish population.”

Bishop David Chillingworth said: “We encourage all citizens to play their full part in the Census and expect that it will reveal us to be an increasingly diverse society.  We welcome that and look forward to working with other churches and faith groups to serve such a community.”

The Church of Scotland has made a deliberate decision to ensure that its resources, material, personal and spiritual, have a bias to the poor, responding to the gospel imperative following the teachings of Jesus to bring good news to the poor. The Census will enable the church to continue with its efforts.

Mr Christie added: “Churches have used Census information in the past to enable local congregations to focus on key areas in order that they may better serve their communities in the future. No doubt the results of the 2011 Census will be similarly used.”

Notes to News Desks:

For interview request with Right Reverend John Christie, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, please telephone Nick Jury, senior media relations officer, Church of Scotland Communications Department, on 0131 240 2260 or email

The Scottish Episcopal Church Press Office can be contacted on 0131 225 6357.

24th March 2011


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Contact: Nick Jury
Phone: 0131 240 2268