THINKING ANGLICANS

Statistics For Mission 2013

The Church of England has published its Statistics For Mission 2013 today, along with the following press release.

New statistics for 2013 show average of one million people attend services each week
10 November 2014

New Church of England statistics for 2013 published today show that an average of one million people attend services each week, down about 1% on the previous year.

The one million figure relates to regular weekly parish and cathedral services and does not include other core services carried out by the Church of England on a regular basis. With some 2,000 baptisms, 1,000 weddings and 3,000 funerals conducted every week it is estimated that a further half a million people attend a service conducted by a Church of England minister every week. In addition the count (which takes place in October) does not include the many carol and nativity services during Advent and many other regular services responding to community need. The services carried out by the Church of England’s chaplains in hospitals, prisons, schools, universities and military bases are also excluded from the attendance totals. Figures for Christmas attendance show a stable trend, with 2.4 million people attending services on Christmas Eve and Day – where figures have hovered around the 2.5 million mark over the past decade.

Speaking on the publication of the statistics, the Bishop of Sheffield, The Rt. Revd. Steven Croft, said:

“These figures show the Church of England continues to serve the nation with a core of 1 million activist members who worship faithfully each week.

“At a time when membership of political parties is at an historic low and in a society which feels increasingly time squeezed, it is conspicuous that the Church of England’s committed weekly base of parish worshippers remains a million strong with the last Census showing many millions more identifying with the Church.

“In addition to the regular worshipping core the Church continues to serve all those who look to us to mark the most important events of their life journey through weddings, baptisms and funerals. Through these services alone we estimate that a further half a million people attend Church every week of the year, many of whom will be only fringe or occasional visitors.”

A new part of the 2013 research reveal that nearly half of the 67,000 new joiners to churches are coming for the first time rather than from another church. This was the first time a split was introduced in the joiners and leavers section to measure those moving to or from other local churches.

There was also new research on attendance at advent services including nativity and carol services – outside of usual Sunday services. Although not every church gave figures, attendance at special services during advent is estimated to be around 5 million.

A change in baptism trends shows that adult baptisms are on the increase over the past decade – from 8,000 per year to 11,000 per year, an increase of 32% over the last 10 years.

The statistics are available at:

https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2112070/2013statisticsformission.pdf

Earlier statistics are available here.

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RichardJosh L.Tim ChestertonBob McCloskeyDavid Runcorn Recent comment authors
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David Keen
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David Keen

and so the frog gets ever nearer to boiling point. Talking up the positives may be good for encouraging the troops, but yet again the CofE is shrinking overall, and the majority of dioceses are still declining. The way the figures are presented seems designed to avoid facing the uncomfortable facts.

Father David
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Father David

The spin doesn’t reflect the downward trend of all the graphs. +Tim Truro is saying that he is giving the CofE in Cornwall six years before the For Sale sign goes up. +Julian Blackburn fears that the Anglican presence in Lancashire may well go the same way as the Cotton Mills! So, where are we going wrong that the Eternal Gospel is failing to win converts in England?

Cynthia
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Cynthia

“So, where are we going wrong that the Eternal Gospel is failing to win converts in England?” Secularization is the trend. Nonetheless, this is a very good question. TEC has been holding fairly steady after the schism stuff, and some of those people are coming back. But we can’t beat the demographic. Still. Studies in the US say that younger people, under 40’s, are interested in the ancient liturgies and music that isn’t “dumbed down.” They want to question, they don’t want pat answers. This all speaks well for Anglicanism, except for this: they can’t tolerate intolerance of LGBT people… Read more »

Fr William
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Extract from BBC piece: ‘The Diocese of Truro voted on 8 November 2014 for a 28% increase in the amount of money it needs from local churchgoers to reduce a £1.2m deficit over the next year.’ So the people in the pews are penalised for the vanity projects of yesteryear. Perhaps the people in the pews should demand the resignation of bishops and archdeacons and diocesan CEOs who have got dioceses into these messes.

Bob McCloskey
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Bob McCloskey

I am trying to make some comparisons with the USA scene. So less than 2% of the UK population attends C of E services weekly. What about all of the other denominations?
Ongoing reports on USA church attendance is lamenting the drop in attendance of all Christian groups to a bit over 40% of the combined memberships, as I understand it. What comparisons can be made within those parameters of Christian attendance in the UK?
Furthermore, what is the total membership of the C of E, active and inactive?

James
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James

The great (and tragic) irony with Truro is that, at his enthronement, Tim Thornton took to the pulpit like the new CEO of Tesco at the shareholder’s AGM. What he wasn’t going to do, what we weren’t going to do, was no-one’s business. Since then, it has been swiftly downhill all the way. Too many internal appointments at senior level has meant no fresh perspective. The rather tired and condescending episcopal tone has not gone down well among many of the parishes and – to cap it all – the economic indicators for Cornwall mean that a 28% increase in… Read more »

Father David
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Father David

It’s one thing for the Truro Diocesan Synod to pass a resolution requesting a massive 28% increase in the Parish Share, quite another thing to actually collect such a sum from the parishes. Looks like the writing is on the wall for the CofE in Cornwall and it may be time to start thinking about returning to the Mother Church in Exeter. I should imagine that the diocese of Exeter is quite wealthy in terms of historic resources. I was much impressed by their “Million for Mission” campaign supporting outreach projects within the diocese with substantial grant aid. They created… Read more »

Simon R
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Simon R

I do wish Steve Croft (and other senior figures in the C of E) would stop talking about membership and ‘church members.’ The C of E doesn’t have ‘members’ (like the Methodists and the Lib Dems). We are here for everyone – especially those who have nowhere else to go. This is what makes us distinctive – and if we started taking our ecclesiology much more seriously in the way we do mission, we might just yet avoid sleepwalking into congregationalism and suffering the same fate as the URC, Methodists, Baptists and all the other decimated Free Church denominations. By… Read more »

Alastair Newman
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Alastair Newman

Isn’t it a dangerous leap to go from an average weekly attendance of a million people to saying they are even active within their church, let alone that they are ‘activist members’?

An in depth look at any cofe church would surely show that to be incorrect.

Perry Butler
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Perry Butler

I agree wholeheartedly with Simon R

David Runcorn
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David Runcorn

‘We are here for everyone’. Who are ‘we’? And where is ‘here’? We have to start from some-where with this faith and church stuff. And the committed ‘we’ and ‘here’ that are trying to be faithful and open to the gospel vision and message could be called ‘members’ couldn’t they? What is wrong with that? Not ‘everyone’ out there would welcome the thought that they are part of all this without having chosen to be. There is strange line of thought around that committed local churches are not relevant or can only exist as exclusive religious groups.

Bob McCloskey
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Bob McCloskey

Thank you Simon R and David Runcorn. Having owned a home in England for 20 years and being licensed to officiate, I never could grasp the notion of being unable to statistically determine membership in the C of E. I understand the long-standing cultural notion that the local vicar serves the entire community but the claim that s/he is the only one who enjoys that privilege/obligation seems very out of date today. Also quite apart from the Free Church traditions, what about the Roman Catholic Church. Surely there is some way of comparing its statistics to the C of E?… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
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I would like to think that our Anglican parish in Edmonton is also ‘here for everyone’ (although we are not an established church and are a minority); I don’t see that as antithetical to having ‘members’.

Josh L.
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Josh L.

The increase of adult baptisms by 32% is a staggering number. i would be interested to know more about what is causing this.

Richard
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Richard

Figures from this piece from the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/11297461) suggest that about one million RC mass attendees in 2009 in England and Wales (it dates from BXVI’s visit in 2010). The graphs suggest that the CofE maintains a slight lead over the RCC in weekly attendance, but a far greater proportion of Catholics attend than Anglicans. Both are in long-term decline, so it’s likely that RC attendance will exceed Anglican in the near to middle distance.