Old Ilkeston Logo

1882 Religious Census of Ilkeston

On Sunday March 30th 1851 a Religious Census of most of the religious establishments in England and Wales took place.
The results of this census as they relate to Ilkeston are referred to at relevant points throughout this site.

On the first Sunday of April 1871 the ‘Dissenters of Ilkeston’ conducted their own ‘informal’ Religious Census, not organised by either Central or Local government, and was subsequently the subject of much local criticism.

On March 5th 1882 the Ilkeston Advertiser decided that another Religious Census in the town would be a good idea.
” We hold that the fairest estimate of the power and influence of a religion is that obtainable from an enumeration of its bone fide active members, and not from a column in the Registrar General’s decennial census giving the aggregate number of nominal members”.
With the exception of Edward Thomas Straton Fowler, Vicar at Christ Church, Cotmanhay, all  relevant clergymen and ministers agreed to take part. The newspaper employed its own counters to calculate the Cotmanhay attendances.

Church/Chapel No of sittings Morning attendance Evening attendance
Church of England
St. Mary's 680 418 430
Holy Trinity 220 151* 209
Cotmanhay 600 179 202
Hallam Fields 286 206* 176
Total 1786 954 1017
Roman Catholic 140 189* 129
Congregationalists
Market Place 272 147 121
Kensington Mission 150 42
Total 422 147 163
Baptists
Queen St. 400 210 236
South St. 200 83 77
Total 600 293 313
Wesleyan Methodists
Bath St. 350 224 228
Methodist Free Church
South St. 500 242 204
Ebenezer Chapel 300 238** 178**
Cotmanhay 400 210** 210**
Total 1200 690 592
Methodist New Connexion 187 46 66
Primitive Methodists
Bath St. 700 250 320
Cotmanhay 250 60
Gallows' Inn Mission 50 25
Total 1000 250 405
Unitarian . .
High St. 180 63
Salvation Army
Original Body 300 164 430‡
Ilkeston Mission 500 140 530‡
Total 800 304 960‡
Christian Meeting 130 103 124

* These returns include two or three morning services.
** Of the attendances at the United Free Church services about a half were those of children.
‡ In the numbers at the Salvation Army evening services those who attended in the afternoon seem to have been included.

The (Liberal and Non-Conformist) Advertiser then helpfully summarised its findings.
While the Established Church welcomed 954 worshippers in that morning and 1017 in the evening, the Non-Conformist establishments respective figures were 1910 and 2751.
The newspaper calculated that of an Ilkeston population of 14,000, 31% of them were regular attenders at church.
(The average of other places where a voluntary census had been taken was about 25%).

 

 

(Education in Ilkeston)