Quick Thoughts on CofE Figures

Unfortunately I don’t have time at the moment to do the serious analysis I did last year on the CofE attendance figures that have just been released. That said, a few observations from ten minutes spent in Excel.

  • Church England LogoAverage Sunday Attendance continues to decline. The rate of decline 2010 to 2011 (-10,600) is less than the average over the past ten years (-13,233.4). However the previous year the decline was way over average.
  • There was quite a dramatic annual drop every year from 2007 through to 2010. 2011 is the first year in the last five we have figures for that the steady decline has slowed.
  • Monthly attendance doesn’t seem to be declining as fast as sunday attendance, indicating that people are switching what it means to be a “regular” attender.
  • Christmas attendance is dramatically up in 2011. Let’s see the 2012 figures!
  • There’s enough data to begin to be vaguely confident that Electoral Roll membership is stabilising.
  • Infant Baptism figures appear steady.

There’s enough in here that if these patterns were repeated over the next few years we could start to say the decline is beginning to come to an end. However, one year’s “better” figures are not enough to start celebrating.

Finally, don’t forget that the church in England is more than just the Church of England. The evidence across all denominations for a number of years now is that the church as a whole has turned a corner. In particular, Evangelical churches are really doing well.

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