Statistics for Mission 2021


The annual Statistics for Mission data is collected by the Research & Statistics Department of the Archbishops’ Council. The data is collected through the Church of England’s online Parish Return System. The system is designed to improve the way in which the Church of England collects annual parish data.

This data is also very helpful to the Diocesan Outreach Team when working with and advising parishes.  It also helps the team when setting key mission priorities and when planning mission initiatives and events. 

Download - Statistics for Mission - Why Bother

Please note that reliance will be placed upon statistics concerning church attendance etc, when applications for grants from the Church Commissioners, to support particular initiatives in mission and church growth, are being evaluated. It is therefore important that accurate returns are submitted when requested.

Parishes should submit their 2021 Statistics for Mission data through the  Online Parish Returns System by 20 March 2022 .


Important Note

The Church of England’s 2021Statistics for Mission form contains the following statement:

“The COVID-19 pandemic caused considerable disruption in many churches in 2021, as it did in 2020. Some activities have returned to “normal”, but we know that this is not the case everywhere. We have done our best to adjust this form accordingly, whilst maintaining continuity where appropriate. We hope that most questions will be simple to answer, but we recognise that others might be difficult to answer in your context. We’re keen to find out anything you can tell us, and your best approximation is fine if you don’t have precise numbers.”

The Church of England’s Research & Statisticts Department have also issued the following statement:

“Due to the continued presence of COVID-19 many of our churches will have felt far from “normal” in 2021. 2021 has been another disrupted year. We discovered through the 2020 Statistics for Mission responses some of the creativity and resilience that churches displayed in finding ways to continue to offer worship and support to their congregations and communities. In the Statistics for Mission 2021 form we are again attempting to understand and recognise some important aspects of churches’ work in 2021. Once again, the form is a little different from usual, but much of it will be familiar to those who assisted us by providing figures last year. As ever, where exact numbers are unavailable we would far rather have your best approximation than no information at all. Please be reassured that the data for 2021 will be used carefully by your Diocese and the National Church, taking into account the disruption that churches have experienced. Thank you, as always, for your assistance in helping us better understand the work of our churches.”


Some additional guidance provided by the Church of England’s Research and Statistics department :


Counting Church at Home attendance

The Church of England's Research & Statistics depertment has published additional advice for churches about counting “attendance” at Church at Home services. This linked to from the Statistics for Mission form, and is also available here:



For help with the Statistics for Mission return, please Email the Outreach Team


Page last updated: Wednesday 9th March 2022 10:42 AM
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