Irish church attendance growing in popularity

A new survey shows that church services are growing in popularity in Ireland but still take second place to shopping.

Catholicireland.net reports that in a Mintel Ireland marketing survey, 15% of the Irish respondents said that attendance at church services ranked among their top 5 priorities during their free time. In a 2003 survey, only 9.3% put church services on their top-5 list.

Worship still takes second place to shopping in the leisure-time preferences of the Irish survey respondents. But the gap is closing. In 2003, 23.5% listed shopping among their top priorities; in the latest poll that figure dropped to 16.6%.

The Irish Lifestyles 2006 Work-Life Balance report by Mintel Ireland studied the lifestyles of over 2,000 people throughout Ireland and focused on how men and women are coping with the demands of family and job.

Those who described themselves as being balanced and comfortable were the most successful at separating work and home life, enjoyed a comfortable standard of living and used their money for holidays and saving. They generally wanted less than other groups surveyed.

People in the struggling group were most likely to spend their money on status symbols, often compensating for a "lack of time" by purchasing luxuries.

A third of working women believe that more "me-time" would improve their lives and 80% of fathers want to spend more time with their young children.

However, if forced to choose, 40% of men would opt for career progression over more family time.

There has been a general decline in visits to pubs, but an increase in trips to restaurants and coffee shops. Taking a foreign holiday was the spending priority for Irish men and women.

Irish church attendance growing in popularity (catholicireland.net 6/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Mintel Ireland | Irish Lifestyles 2006
Irish Episcopal Conference - Catholic Communications Office

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Irish church attendance growing in popularity (Catholic World News 3/3/06)
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7 Mar 2006