§ 3. Mr. Sorensen
asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air the percentage of officers and other ranks registered, respectively, as Church of England, other denominations, Roman Catholic, Jews and Agnostics or Rationalist; the approximate percentage attending officially provided religious services; and whether, in the absence of any personally declared conviction, the registration of Church of England is still automatically made.
I will, with permission, circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT a table of figures giving the answer to the first part of the Question as at 1st January, 1954, the latest date for which the figures required are available. Details of attendance at official religious services are not recorded. The Regulations provide that any declaration of belief or non-belief is to be accepted and registered.
§ Mr. Sorensen
I wonder if the Under-Secretary could answer more specifically the last part of my Question, in which I asked whetherin the absence of any personally declared conviction, the registration of Church of England is still automatically made "?I wish to ask a supplementary question on that.
Officially, it never was automatically made. I think that now the position has been made quite clear—that in the absence of any declared religious conviction, a man would be registered as holding no religious belief.
§ Mr. Sorensen
Is it not true that a very large percentage arc registered as Church of England when in many cases they have no religious convictions whatever?
§ Following is the table:
§ Percentages of R.A.F. Strength at 1st January, 1954, according to registered religious denomination
|Church of England||68.1|
|Presbyterian, Methodist, United Board and Salvation Army||19.6|
|Total of all other denominations, including rationalists and agnostics||1.4|