October 2022 early collection of attendance data
Earlier this year churches in four dioceses were encouraged to add their Easter 2022 figures to the Parish Return System immediately after Easter. The main purpose of the Easter exercise was to compare Easter 2022 with the last ‘normal’ year of 2019 and to see what could be learned about how church attendance has changed over this period. From the smallest to the largest congregation, church attendance at Easter 2022 was better than feared, at about three quarters (73%) of 2019 numbers.
There is still hope that more people will have returned to onsite congregations as Covid became less of a threat over the summer. Therefore, our diocese is planning to use October 2022 attendance figures from the Parish Return System to give us a much fuller picture of the size of our post-Covid church. This time we will be able to look at figures for adults and children separately and assess the impact on our various fresh expressions of Church.
The 2022 Statistics for Mission form is now open on the Parish Returns System. Therefore, we would be very grateful if before 13 November, you could update your return with your October attendance figures in your building plus any Church at Home during that time. You will see that the Easter figures you added earlier in the year are already in the form, and these figures too will be saved. So, this is not something extra and when you complete your return in January with numbers of weddings and funerals etc; all the figures you have already entered will have been saved there for you.
The steps below give more help on how to add your October attendance figures.
Step 1: First, gather your figures from Service registers and any other records held about your Fresh Expressions and other forms of worship, for the first four weeks of October beginning Sunday 2 October to Saturday 29 October. If possible, keep separate figures for adults and children. If it is helpful to collect the figures on a paper form before you enter it online, you can download the form from the online system at 2022StatisticsForMission.doc (live.com) (Word document) or 2022StatisticsForMission.pdf (churchofengland.org) (Pdf document)
Step 2: Go onto the online Parish returns system https://parishreturns.churchofengland.org
Step 3: Sign in as usual with your username and password. If you have forgotten these please contact Katy Purvis at Church House (email@example.com or 07752 798148).
Step 4 Choose the ‘Enter data’ box
Step 5: Choose the 2022 Statistics for Mission Return
Step 6: From the front page please add information into the two sections ‘October Count’ and ‘Church at home’
Step 7: click on the ‘October Count’ tab to enter the data you have collected into the boxes for each week. Then click on ‘Save and return to menu
Step 8. Next click on the ‘Church at home’ tab. Add the information requested then press ‘save and return to the menu’.
Step 9. Do NOT press submit at this stage. Provided you have pressed ‘Save and Return to Main Menu’ on both the October count and Church at home pages, you can safely leave the website knowing your data have been entered.
General Information about Statistics for Mission Returns
Each year parishes are asked to provide an annual return of their Statistics for Mission data (Sunday attendance, number of baptisms, etc). For further information click here
Parishes are also requested to submit their annual Finance data. For further information click here
The data currently being collected is for the year ending 31st December 2022.
Both the Statistics for Misson and Finance data is submitted through the Church of England's Online Parish Return System
If you have forgotten your Log On details or need an Online Parish Returns account, please contact Katy Purvis at Church House (firstname.lastname@example.org or 07752 798148).
Survey of Planned Giving
The diocese also asks parishes to submit a return of planned giving by Email. For further information click here