Understanding Faith Journeys

    Diocese of Bristol
    12 December 2018

    God with us.

    The 2018 Faith Journeys research, conducted by 9DOT for the Church of England, explores how people become aware of God’s presence, are attracted to it, respond to it and are ultimately transformed by it. These transformed individuals are followers of Jesus Christ, sharing the love of God to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth, thereby transforming the world.

    The mission of the Church of England is to nurture those faith journeys.

    In this article we have drawn out some of the highlights from the research.

    Each faith journey is unique and usually complex, with multiple influences, motivations and barriers.

    • It is a process over time, not a single event;
    • It is contextual and thereby influences and is influenced by a matrix of relationships, expectations, and situations;
    • Factors in the transformation process are multiple, interactive, and cumulative.

    Understanding that Faith Journeys are unique and complex, the research did identify six common stages (detailed below).

    A few important points about these stages: 

    • Each stage is not (or should not be) a stopping point on the journey, more a recognisable part of the continuum; each stage provides the foundation for the next;
    • The greatest number of people are at the context stage, and the number reduces at each stage towards transformation;
    • People can step forward as well as backward, even after reaching transformation;
    • Although these stages describe a more usual journey, they can be transposed or omitted completely.