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Some key statistics

In this factpack, you will find details of key statistics for the Catholic Church in England, Scotland and Wales. The stats include general information on the face of the Cathoic Church in the three countries - such as the number of Mass attendees, churches and clergy - and also sections on education, growth and international development.


The Catholic Church is the largest Christian denomination in the world. It has more than 1.166 billion members worldwide – that means one in every six people walking the earth is a baptised Catholic.

Around six million Catholics live in Scotland, England and Wales.

Dioceses – The basic administrative unit of the Catholic Church is the diocese – an area presided over by a bishop, sometimes with auxiliary bishops to help him. There are 22 dioceses in England and Wales; eight in Scotland. These are divided into parishes, the local communities of Catholics. There are also two dioceses covering the whole country for specific groups: the Bishopric of the Forces and the Apostolic Exarchate for Ukrainians.

There are five Provinces in England and Wales: Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Southwark and Westminster. There are two Provinces in Scotland: Edinburgh and St Andrews; Glasgow.

Weekly mass attendance is around 1.1 million.

There are 2,836 parish churches in England and Wales; 500 in Scotland. In addition, there are more than 500 chapels and churches open to the public.

Number of priests in Scotland, England and Wales:
• 4,400 active diocesan priests
• 811 retired priests
• 1069 religious priests

Number of deacons in England and Wales:
• 736 deacons

Ratio of priests to people in England and Wales:
• 1: 1147 (active diocesan priests: lay Catholics)

Number of convents in England and Wales
• 1066

Number of seminarians in England and Wales (Men in formation for priesthood)
• 136