Sydney ranked Australia's top Catholic city

Mass in Bossley Park, the city’s most Catholic suburb (Giovanni Portelli)

Sydney is the most Catholic city in the country according to figures based on the 2016 Census. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

Market demographers McCrindle recently conducted the Faith and Belief study using the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Census figures, which showed that while “no religion” was the most popular response when it came to the question of faith around the country, Sydney is the only capital city where Catholicism is still the number one religion.

The figures reveal that of the 650 Sydney suburbs, Bossley Park is Australia’s most Christian and Catholic, with 7288 Catholics accounting for a whopping 49.9 per cent of residents – almost half the entire 14,585 population.

Located 36 kilometres southwest of the CBD, its residents are more faithful than Sydney’s traditional Bible-belt district of The Hills, highlighting the growing trend of Catholics heading out west.

Study author Mark McCrindle said: “Religion in Australia is certainly not dead. Our study shows that two thirds of Australians (68 per cent) currently follow a religion or have some spiritual beliefs.

“And Sydney is undoubtedly the last bastion of Catholicism in Australia and it should be proud.”

In breaking down the Census data, the study found Australia-wide there are about 5.3 million Catholics – 22.6 per cent of the country’s population with 1.8 million living in NSW (24.7per cent) and of those 1,213,126 live in Sydney, giving the NSW capital the top spot.

In Sydney, no religion came in second with 1,188,280 (24.6per cent) and Anglican third with 580,341 followers (12per cent) of the population.

The capital city with the second strongest Catholic response was Canberra (23.8 per cent) while Hobart ranked last (17per cent).

Mr McCrindle said the findings were a great opportunity for Sydney Catholics to identify what its congregations wanted from their parishes and priests and build on that to retain its numbers and potentially grow.

Tony Farley, recently appointed Director of Parish 2020 – an initiative aiming to renew and strengthen Catholic communities – acknowledged the challenges but said it was an “exciting time to be a Catholic”.

“We’re being challenged in so many ways and our capacity to respond positively to those challenges is limitless.”

Details: www.mccrindle.com.au

FULL STORY

Sydney’s No.1 for faith, according to new study (The Catholic Weekly)

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