Attendance at churches in Scotland has dropped by more than half over the past 30 years, according to the latest census of the church.

The census of Scottish Christians, the fourth conducted since 1984, found around 390,000 people regularly attend church, down from 854,000 in 1984. Proportionally, church-goers account for 7.2 per cent of the Scottish population - well below the 17 per cent recorded in 1984.

Declines were recorded across all denominations with the exception of Pentecostalism where attendance has almost doubled since 2002 and which, as of 2016, accounted for some five per cent of all Scottish churchgoers. The overall number of congregations dropped to 3,700 in 2016, down from 4,100 in 1984.

The census also revealed that 42 per cent of Scottish churchgoers are aged 65 and over.

Among other key findings showed that four-fifths of church-goers attend weekly, some 45 per cent of church-goers have attended the same church for more than 20 years, and, 79 per cent of church leaders are male with an average age of 57.

Denominationally, 35 per cent of church-goers were evangelical, 32 per cent Catholic, 16 per cent "broad/liberal", 13 per cent reformed and four per cent 'low church'.

Rev Dr David Pickering, moderator of the United Reformed Church Synod of Scotland, told the BBC the figures represented both a "crisis" and an "opportunity".

"The Scottish Church Census doesn't make terribly happy reading," he said. "But it also presents a new opportunity for the church to portray the love of God and the good news of Jesus in a new way for a new generation. That's an opportunity and a challenge for us."