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Letter: Fuller pews

As an Anglican bishop in Essex, I asked parishes to let me know their attendances for Christmas, following your article ("Christmas cancelled", 19 December). In urban Colchester 12 churches, serving a population of some 98,000, reported 5,783 Christmas worshippers. This means that nearly 6 per cent of Colcestrians found their way to an Anglican church then. The Church of England accounts for about one third of all church attendances nationally, so probably almost one in five Colchester residents was involved in Christian worship at Christmas. In the market town of Halstead and the 31 village churches around it, 3,405 people out of 32,000, well over 10 per cent, went to a Church of England parish church at Christmas.

= Christopher Morgan

Bishop of Colchester