The 1851 census asked one new question of each Briton: whether on Census Sunday, March 30, 1851, they had attended church services, and, if they had, where. Statistics based on the answers to these questions in the Religious Census of 1851 have been mined for information ever since. To the Victorians, two points jumped out. First, large portions of the population, particularly members of the working class, had not attended church that Sunday. Second, of those who went to services, more than half did so outside the Church of England. To a Christian nation with an established state church, these were surprising and dismaying facts. For many, the census confirmed their conviction that the industrialization, the urbanization, and even the prosperity they were experiencing were causing moral decline. Until recently many historians agreed that modernization either caused or was inevitably accompanied by a decline in religion in which fewer and fewer people believed religious doctrine or observed religious ritual. Scholars call this decline “secularization,” and until very recently most historians, relying on the published report of the Religious Census, thought that Victorian Britain was a secularizing society. Some pointed to Enlightenment ideals of rationality and the natural over the supernatural as the cause; others to the decline of the state church, or various aspects of modernization.