Religion in London (2021)[1]

  Christianity (40.66%)
  Not religious (27.05%)
  Islam (14.99%)
  Undeclared (7.00%)
  Hinduism (5.15%)
  Judaism (1.65%)
  Sikhism (1.64%)
  Buddhism (0.99%)
  Other religions (0.88%)

London has centres of worship for many faiths. According to the 2021 Census, the largest religious groupings are Christians (40.66%), followed by those of no religion (27.05%), Muslims (14.99%), no response (7%), Hindus (5.15%), Jews (1.65%), Sikhs (1.64%), Buddhists (1.0%), and others (0.9%).[1]



Historically, London has been predominantly Christian. This is clear from the large number of churches around the area, particularly in the City of London, which alone contains around 50 churches. The Church of England is the primary denomination, and the Archbishop of Canterbury's main residence is at Lambeth Palace. Most parts of London north of the Thames and west of the River Lee are within the diocese of London under the Bishop of London at St Paul's Cathedral in the City; parishes east of the River Lee are within the Diocese of Chelmsford; and most parts south of the river are administered from Southwark Cathedral as the diocese of Southwark. Important national and royal ceremonies are divided between St Paul's and Westminster Abbey.

The preeminent Catholic cathedral in England and Wales is Westminster Cathedral, from which the Archbishop of Westminster leads the English and Welsh Catholic churches. Other Christian denominations also have headquarters in the city, including the United Reformed Church, the Salvation Army, and the Quakers, and immigrant communities have established their own denominations or dioceses (e.g. the Eastern Orthodox Church). Many evangelical denominations also have church buildings in the city.

Metropolitan Tabernacle in Elephant & Castle

The largest nonconformist church is the Metropolitan Tabernacle.


London Central Mosque in Regents Park, London.

Main article: Islam in London

Islam is London's second largest religion. Muslims make up 15% of London's population. There were 1,318,755 Muslims reported in the 2021 census in the Greater London area.[1]

London's first mosque was established by Mohamad Dollie in 1895, in modern-day Camden.[2] The East London Mosque is the largest Muslim centre in central Europe. London Central Mosque is a locally well-known landmark on the edge of Regent's Park, and there are many other mosques in the city.


Hindu temple at Neasden, one of the largest temples of Hinduism in Europe

Over half of the UK's Hindu population lives in London, where they make up 5% of the population. British Hindus primarily live in Western London; however, every borough has a significant Hindu population and, as per the 2011 census, the London borough of Harrow has the largest concentration of Hindus at 25%.

The Hindu temple at Neasden was the largest temple of Hinduism in Europe[3] until the opening of the Shri Venkateswara (Balaji) Temple in Tividale in 2006.[4] Other temples are in nearby Wembley, Harrow and Willesden, as well as Wimbledon and Newham in South and East London.

Hare Krishna are sometimes seen on the streets of London, particularly near the Radha Krishna Temple in Soho.


Interior of the New West End Synagogue

Over two-thirds of British Jews live in London, which ranks thirteenth in the world as a Jewish population centre.[5] There are significant Jewish communities in parts of north London such as Stamford Hill and Golders Green.[6] There are currently two eruvin in London; one that covers Hendon, Golders Green, and Hampstead Garden Suburb,[7][8] and another in Edgware.[9] There are two more planned eruvin: one in Stanmore,[10] and one covering Elstree/Borehamwood.[11]

The first written record of Jewish settlement in London dates from 1070, although Jews may have lived there since Roman times. The Bevis Marks Synagogue, built in 1701 in the city of London, is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom still in use. In 1899, a map was published showing, by colour, the proportion of the Jewish population to other residents of East London, street by street. It illustrates clearly the predominantly Jewish population at the time in the areas of Whitechapel, Spitalfields, and Mile End in particular.[12]


Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall.

London has a sizable Sikh population, most of whom live in the west of the city in areas such as Southall, Hounslow, and Hayes. In southeast London, there are some Sikhs in Bexleyheath, Erith, Sidcup, Plumstead, and Woolwich. In northeast London, there are some in North Newham and Ilford. In northwest London, some live in northwest Brent and some parts of Harrow. The largest Sikh temple in London (and outside India) is Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Southall.[13]


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Roughly one in five Londoners have no religion, and much of London's civic life and civil society is secular in the sense that it has no religious character.

To the extent that non-religious movements have actively organised in the UK, many organise nationally from London. The non-religious humanist movement in the UK largely began in London in the 19th century with the foundation of various "ethical churches" and "ethical societies". Over time, these groups came to form the basis of non-religious charities in the UK: Conway Hall, based in the former South Place Ethical Society in Holborn, and Humanists UK, which was formed by the merger of the UK's remaining ethical societies. Of Humanists UK's London chapters, the largest is the Central London Humanist Group, which frequently meets at Conway Hall.

The 19th-century non-religious congregational model of the ethical churches still persists to some extent. The non-religious Sunday Assembly movement began in London in 2013. Unitarian groups in Islington and Hackney also now organise under the umbrella of the "New Unity" church, which describes itself as "a non-religious church".

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Religion". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  2. ^ Birt, Yahya (2020-02-25). "A glimpse of Victorian Muslim London from the Ottoman Archives". Medium. Retrieved 2023-08-02.
  3. ^ Hindu London, BBC, 6 June 2005. URL accessed on 5 June 2006.
  4. ^ Opening for biggest Hindu temple BBC, 23 August 2006. URL accessed on August 28, 2006.
  5. ^ Metropolitan Areas With Largest Jewish Populations, 1 Jan 2002 Archived 2007-10-11 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ BBC London feature on Jewish communities, 11 Aug 2004
  7. ^ "NW London Eruv Website". North West London Eruv Committee. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
  8. ^ "Eruvs in Britain". Religion & Ethics - Judaism. BBC. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
  9. ^ "The Edgware Eruv Website". Edgware Eruv Committee. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
  10. ^ "Welcome To The Stanmore Eruv". Retrieved 2010-08-02.
  11. ^ "Elstree & Borehamwood Eruv homepage". Ebor Eruv Charitable Trust. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  12. ^ Jewish East London 1899
  13. ^ "£17m Sikh temple opens". BBC News Online. 2003-03-30. Retrieved 2009-12-08.