Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Traditional Anglican Communion statistics

This week in the Church Times there is a report on this topic. The original is subscriber-only until Friday but meanwhile is copied below.

TAC members mostly in India by Simon Sarmiento

NINETY per cent of the membership of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) resides in India and Africa, information received by the Church Times shows.

The TAC was formed in 1990, and now in­cludes former Anglicans in six continents. Its current Primate, Archbishop John Hepworth, is based in South Australia. Dialogue be­tween the TAC and the Vatican, after a formal petition made by the TAC in October 2007, was cited as a significant factor in the decision by the Congre­ga­tion for the Doctrine of the Faith to issue the Apostolic Constitution Anglican­orum Coetibus (News, 13 November).

The secretary to the College of Bishops of the TAC, Cheryl Wood­man, supplied the figures shown on the left. She said that they were “based on about 60 per cent of our communicant membership attend­ing every Sunday”, and that “this would easily bring the [membership] figure to around the 400,000 that is regularly quoted.”

In India, the TAC is represented by the Anglican Church of India (ACI). The ACI was formed in 1964 by Anglicans who withdrew from the Churches of North and South India. It now has 15 dioceses. The Traditional Anglican Church in Britain lists about 20 parishes on its website.

Territory

Attendance

Proportion

India

130,000

54%

Southern Africa (including Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia and the Eastern Cape)

 65,000

27%

Central Africa (including Kenya, Cameroon, Eastern Congo and Tanzania)

 26,000

11%

UK and Europe

   1,800

0.7%

Canada

   2,000

0.8%

USA

   2,500

1.0%

Central America

   7,000

2.3%

Australia (inc Torres Straights), New Zealand, and Japan

   6,500

2.7%

240,800

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 11:47am GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

The "proportion" and "attendance" columns deserve some further explanation if for no other reason than the disparity between 0.7% versus 54% in the proportion column. Unusual --and makes one question the methodology the different regions use in their demographic evaluations.
Also, am I to suppose that only 1% attend in the USA meaning that 2,500 attendance represents a membership on their books of 250,000??? Seems most peculiar - where is there a guide to their statical summary - or is there one??? Thanks----

Posted by: ettu on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 12:08pm GMT

The proportion figures are simply the result of dividing each attendance figure into the total. So the USA figure of 2,500 is 1% of the total of 240,800.

I do not know of any other figures giving worldwide coverage. These came to me after an extended email correspondence with TAC. At present I have no further information, this is it.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 12:49pm GMT

Are all these people really former Anglicans? If so, it gives a different perspective on the idea that the Global South GAFCONites are really doing that well.

Posted by: BillyD on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 1:08pm GMT

Taking the Indian example, I do not think all the members claimed can possibly be old enough to have once been members of the Anglican bodies in India that existed prior to the creation of the United Churches, CSI and CNI.

But this is generally true of all church bodies, that they contain new members who had never participated in the predecessor institutions.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 1:22pm GMT

I will also gingerly suggest, on the basis of my own congregation (about 20% African, mostly from Ghana and Nigeria) that denominational membership can be very fluid. I know one man who is a Pentacostal minister, who still also considers himself "an Anglican." There is also significant crossover in Ghana between Methodists and Anglicans. I can also attest that I have had a contributing regular member of my parish who approached me a few weeks ago with, "This is a Catholic church, right?" and who had in previous years been a regular communicant of the RC church a few blocks away -- but likes the preaching and congregation at my parish better! This is the first time the topic arose -- though my parish bulletin lists "The Episcopal Church / The Anglican Communion" on its masthead every Sunday.

So, to be blunt, how many members of the TAC even know that it is a "Shadow" Anglicanism? They may just like the preaching or the fellowship of that local congregation...

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 3:54pm GMT

Ms. Woodman states, "(the figures) are based on about 60 percent of our communicant membership attending every Sunday," and that "this would easily bring the (membership) figure to around the 400,000 that is regularly quoted." So which is it, is the 60% multiplied by an already determined membership figure of 400,000 to estimate the number of communicants attending every Sunday or is 60% divided into the already determined number of communicants attending every Sunday to arrive at the 400,000 membership figure? I have a feeling that the TAC is engaging in some exaggeration. I don't think that they know how many members they have, but it's probably far less than 400,000.

Posted by: JoeC on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 6:10pm GMT

I cannot imagine how any sensible person could imagine Fr Haller's church is Roman Catholic.

The liturgy (ad orientem,by the way) is far too well organised and celebrated, the music far too well played and sung and the sermon far too lucid and orthodox for any Catholic church I know.

It was clearly this type of inspiring worship and theology that the Canadian bishops had in mind when they dissed TEC to the ABC's spies recently.

By the way, is that Idris, former Primus of the Episcopal Church of Scotland wearing a cappa magna/metropolitical train at that famous shrine to Catholic worship S Clement's in Philadelphia? http://www.flickr.com/photos/saintclementsphiladelphia/sets/72157620945630082/
Tobias, you need a throne like what they got!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 6:13pm GMT

The TAC in Ireland is even smaller...circa 100. They are quite Protestant and I doubt whether they will POPE!

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 7:12pm GMT

Oh, I say! That is indeed +Idris so gorgeously arrayed. And I suspect he may have had those pics suppressed until after he retired. Not that our Cathedral Chapter are the sort who would wind up their Bishop................

Posted by: David Bayne on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 7:34pm GMT

Curiouser and curiouser! One of the best ways of achieving church growth in our contemporary context is by stopping counting and starting estimating (NZ Anglicans bypass this by our General Synod not keeping any statistics whatsoever of provincial numbers). According to Wikipedia The Anglican Church of India has 500,000 members http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Church_of_India in 800 congregations (average 625 persons a congregation!) and “growing rapidly” [and a very low ordination rate -1 clergy per every 3,500 members!]. Neither there nor at http://indianchristianity.org/anglican.html do they make any mention of being a member of TAC. This largest segment of TAC does not appear to have any other website?

Posted by: Bosco Peters on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 11:00pm GMT

It interesting that no figures are quoted for the territory occupied by the Church of their erstwhile Metropolitan Archbishop, John Hepworth.

Is Australia then 'Terra Incognita' for TEC? Or was the membership in Australia not significant at the time of the census, I wonder?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 11:27pm GMT

See above, Australia included in last entry of table:

Australia (inc Torres Straights), New Zealand, and Japan 6,500 2.7%

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 11:35pm GMT

After all this time and all that has been written, I certainly would have expected a much less vague and confusing statement by the TAC regarding its membership. And, if the TAC were inclined to exaggerate its membership, it would certainly inflate numbers in less developed countries/areas (i.e. India and Africa) which would be virtually impossible to check.

Posted by: JoeC on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 12:26am GMT

As to fluid membership, I have one member in my ACoC parish who, when he spends the winters in Florida, attends a continuing Anglican church from the WO split (not sure if it's APA or ACA or one of the others). It's convenient to his house, they are friendly and welcoming, and he's not one to care much either way about the divisive issues.

I'm sure there are a lot of Canadian snowbirds like him who have found their way to not-in-communion churches because the sign says "Anglican", and show up in the numbers of both the ACoC and the continuum.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 3:26am GMT


Issues | Communion Divisions | Being Faithful

Response to "Being Faithful"

"Being Faithful" is a commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration issued by the GAFCON Theological Resource Group.

The following letter was sent by Church Society Council to all the members of the Theological Resource Group in late November 2009.

"Being Faithful: The shape of Historic Anglicanism Today"

We are grateful to you for your work, as part of the GAFCON Theological Resource Group on “Being Faithful”, the Commentary on the Jerusalem Declaration. We note that it is commended to the wider church for further discernment. The Council of Church Society has therefore considered and discussed the report and wishes to draw a number of matters to your attention.

The Society was founded in 1835 to uphold the doctrines of the Church of England and to maintain that church as a Protestant, Reformed and national church. We are therefore wholeheartedly in agreement with your emphasis upon the need to uphold Biblical teaching and resist those theological innovations which threaten the integrity and fidelity of the Anglican Communion today....

http://www.churchsociety.org/issues_new/communion/division/iss_communion_division_beingfaithful2009.asp

Posted by: Robert Ian williams on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 5:22am GMT

Ah, RIW, the dear old Church Society only wish for the C of E to be a "Protestant, Reformed and national church", do they?

It is bizarre that just about the only churches which are Protestant, Reformed and national outside the UK are the Scandinavian Lutheran churches.

Oddly enough, being genuinely Protestant Reformed and national, they have also been much better able to accept women clergy and gay people than their hung-up and hypocritical brethren on the other side of the North Sea.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 1:26pm GMT

Thanks Robert. It's interesting to read this in the present context.

Interesting piece too. Quite right as regards the British view of the BCP - all the UK churches have retain the BCP as normative in the area of doctrine.

How does this play out elsewhere?

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 2:26pm GMT

Thanks, Martin. I have a friend who from time to time sends me a snap from S Clement's Philadelphia, with the caption, "Just a simple Protestant Episcopal Service at the local parish..."

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 5:00pm GMT

Interesting... So it appears that even though the bulk of their membership is in India and Africa, their leadership is white European.

Colonial... err... Traditional indeed!

Thomas

Posted by: thomas+ on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 7:09pm GMT

"all the UK churches have retain the BCP as normative in the area of doctrine."

Er, yes, but that doesn't mean 1662: in Scotland the Scottish 1929 Prayer Book is the doctrinal standard. It contains propers for Corpus Christi and the Falling Asleep of the BVM on the 15th August. One rather thinks the Church Society might not be too keen on this, especially as we pay no attention to the 39 Articles as a doctrinal anything!

Posted by: Fr Dougal on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 8:28pm GMT

Fr Dougal is quite correct in saying that Anglicans in Scotland need pay no heed to the 39 Articles and also that the Scottish Prayer Book contains propers for Corpus Christi. Indeed, I've genuflected next to Fr D at Corpus Christi celebrations, I suspect, more than once.

However, I'd be interested in hearing him elaborate his claim that the Scottish Prayer Book is normative in the area of doctrine in the Scottish Episcopal Church.

The Canons of the Scottish Episcopal Church require clergy to give canonical assent to the "Scottish Book of Common Prayer and of the Ordering of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, and to the other authorised liturgical formularies of this Church".

That does not seem like a very tight Prayer Bookesque doctrinal standard to me.

Posted by: Kelvin Holdsworth on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 11:49pm GMT

"So it appears that even though the bulk of their membership is in India and Africa, their leadership is white European. Colonial... err... Traditional indeed!"
Yes indeed! When Abp Tutu was elected the white "traditional" protestant Anglicans in South Africa joined the Church of England in South Africa (CESA) because it was "non-political". I suspect that the more catholic white Anglicans who disapproved of Abp Desmond joined the TAC.

Derek
St Paul's Rondebosch Cape Town

Posted by: Derek Pratt on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 9:00am GMT

Oh dear! I really shouldn't have gone off topic as I did! And then to raise the "Prayer Book" and involve Scotland ..... well, just pure folly!
Mea maxima .....

Back on topic, sort of, Simon has exposed some interesting information, though I am still not perfectly clear on why Australia etc comes under Central America. I find my old mate Fr John Maunder's statment in a Church Times article back in 2007 quite revealing and, I suspect, shows that the TAC did not get exactly what they were hoping for:
“The talks have at least started. The approach was well received, and there will be further talks. The whole gist is we don’t want to be Roman Catholic, but Catholic Anglicans.”

John ministers in Fr Dolling's (OBM) old church and it attracted an interesting review at Ship of Fools ..
http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/1999/035Mystery.html

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 11:32am GMT

@ Fr Mark, I suspect that the Lutherans of Scandinavia would object quite stridently to being characterized as Reformed, though perhaps not as reformed.

Posted by: Geoff on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 3:00pm GMT

Well, Kelvin I seem to recall that the licence I have from the Bishop says I have "assented" to the 1929 Prayer Book and "the doctrines contained therein". Of course, assent is isn't a very tight doctrinal definition or adherence: I'm with the late and distinguished Anglo-Catholic divine NP "Nip" Williams on this (and this was his approach to assenting to the 39 Articles). "Like the Oxford Gas Works, I acknowledge their existence: I don't much care for them but I'm not engaged in a plot to blow them up at the moment"

Posted by: Fr Dougal on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 3:09pm GMT

Oh yes, Father Dougal, you may have such a piece of paper, but the form of assent that is now required is to the doctrine of the Church as set forth in "the Scottish Book of Common Prayer and of the Ordering of Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and to the other authorised liturgical formularies of this Church".

See appendix number 11 to the Code of Canons, as amended in 1995. (And Appendices 14, 16, 16A, 16B19, 20)

The form of institution to an incumbency in Scotland makes reference to "authorised liturgical formularies" and does not mention the Prayer Book.

Further similar language appears in all other forms of appointment in the Scottish Church.

I don't see how the Prayer Book can be presumed to have any doctrinal primacy at all in Scotland.

Posted by: Kelvin Holdsworth on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 5:54pm GMT

John ministers in Fr Dolling's (OBM) old church and it attracted an interesting review at Ship of Fools ..
http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/1999/035Mystery.html

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 11:32am GMT
Thanks o much for this very good to read of such authentic feeling worship. I felt drawn in and touched. I'd visit myself if I lived nearer.

I thought it lovely that a Congregational minister was involved in praching there.

I must say I ahd no idea there were TAC outlets in UK.

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Friday, 15 January 2010 at 5:15am GMT

The "Anglican Church of India" article on Wikipedia that Bosco links to is not about the TAC province in India (which is also known as the Anglican Church of India"). The group described in this article is one that I'd never heard of, myself.

Posted by: M David on Friday, 15 January 2010 at 6:05am GMT
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