The proportion professing to be non-religious has gradually increased from 31 per cent in 1983 to 53 per cent today.

The survey also found only 15 per cent of people in Britain now describe themselves as Anglican, compared to 30 per cent in 2000.

In related news, a separate survey commissioned by the Church of England has found many of those who claim to be Christians don’t take part in many of the activities which are commonly associated with Christianity.

Sixty per cent of self-declared Anglicans said they never read the Bible and 36 per cent admitted they never attend church. One in three said they never pray.

Rachel Jordan, the Church’s national mission and evangelism adviser told Premier the survey has given the Church a real sense of “the scale of the task ahead.”