mgpcpastor's blog

The 10,000 Who Ticked ‘No Religion’

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As I mentioned the other day, the data from the 2011 Australian Census has begun to be released.
Again, below are the figures for religious affiliation for our local area: postcodes 5290 and 5291.
At first glance we might be tempted to respond ‘Yay Presbyterians! We’re still number four!’ Even though we know those figures are a historical legacy, they do provide our denomination with a profile which can be useful while it lasts.
In times past we might have focused on the figure of 2,199 people who indicated an affiliation with Presbyterianism. We might have determined to get out and try to reclaim them all.
But the figure I want to focus on is that of the 10,296 folk who indicated they had no religion at all. We can’t limit ourselves to old friends, or people with Scottish ancestors, or those who we think would fit in.
Our hearts, and the hearts of every Christian and church in Mount Gambier and districts, should simply be that all of those people have the opportunity to know who Jesus is and to hear about His invitation for them to receive His friendship and salvation.
That’s why we need more churches in this city.
Some Christians are afraid that their churches will grow too big, or that they’ll change in some way that might make those people feel less comfortable, or that things may not be the same as they’ve always been.
If you meet any Christians from around town who express these understandable fears, just ask them “What about the 10,000 who ticked ‘No religion’?”
Surely all of these other concerns fade away when we consider the tremendous privilege and responsibility which we have in sharing the Gospel with these dear folk.
And in doing so we’ve clearly got a lot of room for those of our 2,199 local Presbyterian folk who need to get back into touch with Jesus as well.
That’s nearly 12,500 people (and a few more besides). How can we help them to meet Jesus?

Religious affiliation, top responses
5290, SA
%
South Australia
%
Australia
%
No Religion 7,830 31.4 448,524 28.1 4,796,787 22.3
Catholic 5,276 21.2 317,957 19.9 5,439,268 25.3
Anglican 2,581 10.4 200,441 12.6 3,679,907 17.1
Uniting Church 1,981 8 142,429 8.9 1,065,795 5
Presbyterian and Reformed 1,556 6.2 20,335 1.3 599,515 2.8

The most common responses for religion in 5290, SA (Postal Areas) were No Religion 31.4%, Catholic 21.2%, Anglican 10.4%, Uniting Church 8.0% and Presbyterian and Reformed 6.2%.

Religious affiliation, top responses
5291, SA
%
South Australia
%
Australia
%
No Religion 2,466 28.8 448,524 28.1 4,796,787 22.3
Catholic 1,705 19.9 317,957 19.9 5,439,268 25.3
Anglican 1,017 11.9 200,441 12.6 3,679,907 17.1
Uniting Church 830 9.7 142,429 8.9 1,065,795 5
Presbyterian and Reformed 643 7.5 20,335 1.3 599,515 2.8

The most common responses for religion in 5291, SA (Postal Areas) were No Religion 28.8%, Catholic 19.9%, Anglican 11.9%, Uniting Church 9.7% and Presbyterian and Reformed 7.5%.

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