Churches sustain their growth in numbers
The latest statistics from the Church of England show that churches in the Diocese of Bristol have consolidated the growth experienced in 2009.
Although the figures for 2010 show no change from 2009, that builds on 11% growth in the previous year.
“What this shows is that the growth that so encouraged us in 2009 is real growth,” said Bishop Mike. “It’s not an anomaly!”
The average weekly attendance in Diocese of Bristol churches is 17,700, 20% of whom are children and young people.
Patterns of attendance suggest that means 31,000 people attend church on a regular basis.
These statistics are the most accurate yet, with 94% of churches returning their figures and all fresh expressions being recorded.
At the same time, over 100 new services have been started in the Diocese over 2009 and 2010, according the responses to this year’s Articles of Enquiry.
A range of services, from weekly mid-week Holy Communions to termly Messy Church have been started and are growing. Over half of the new services are aimed at children and families and the most common frequency of a new service is monthly.
“I am so humbled by the prayerful commitment I see across churches in this Diocese as they take risks and start something new as they seek to serve God in their communities.”
The Articles of Enquiry also give accurate information about the numbers of people involved in small groups for prayer or Bible study, a mark of commitment to God and one another. On average, 30% of those attending each week are part of a group. This will continue to be measured in future years.
In 2011, you can return your Statistics for Mission and Finance Returns online. This will also give your parish access to historic and benchmarking statistics to help you develop your plans and more immediate statistics to the Diocese and national Church.