The Christian population of England and Wales has fallen by four million to 33.2 million in the past decade, the 2011 census reveals. The number of people describing themselves as having no religion rose from 15% to 25% of the population. The British Humanist Association said it was a "significant cultural shift."

The Church of England said Christianity remained the most populous faith in England, but the fall in people choosing to identify themselves as Christians was a challenge. Spokesman the Reverend Arun Arora said: "One of the reasons may well be fewer people identifying as 'cultural Christians' - that is, those who have no active involvement with churches and who may previously have identified as Christian for cultural or historical reasons.

A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales said: "The overall decrease in the number of self-identifying Christians is consistent with recent social attitude and social value surveys. There are 14.1 million people of no religion compared to 7.7 million a decade ago. But Christianity still remains the largest religion at 33.2 million, or nearly six out of 10 people, in spite of registering a fall of just over four million.