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This magazine contains findings from the 2016 National Church Life Survey, as well as data about the Australian population from the 2016 Government Census and the 2016 Australian Community Survey by NCLS Research.


It covers a variety of topics including who goes to church, local church health and spirituality of the wider Australian population.

Inside the magazine:

  • Spirituality & Wellbeing: Nearly six in ten Australians believe in God or a higher power
  • Local Churches: Average church size is 132 attenders
  • Who Goes to Church: There are strong demographic differences between churchgoers and the wider community
  • Church & Community: A majority of church attenders support advocacy from the churches on public policy issues
  • Healthy Churches: Seven in ten attenders agree their local church is always ready to try something new
  • First Peoples & Church: Indigenous church attenders report positive experiences of church
  • Cultural Diversity & Church: Churches help migrants to build bridges into Australian society
  • Generations & Church: Around a third of younger generations want to be more involved at church
  • Leadership: Many church attenders are involved in leadership roles at church

Authors: Ruth Powell, Miriam Pepper, Kathy Jacka, Sam Sterland


Powell, R., Pepper, M., Jacka, K., & Sterland, S. (2018). Vista: Scanning the landscape of local churches in Australia. Sydney: NCLS Research.