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Episcopal Church in sharp decline: The Church of England Newspaper, February 3, 2012 p 6. February 10, 2012

Posted by geoconger in Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
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First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.

A statistical analysis presented to the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church on 27 January 2012 reports the American church has experience a traumatic decline in all quantifiable areas of church life over the past decade.

In their 42-page PowerPoint presentation to the Executive Council, Dr. C. Kirk Hadaway and Dr. Matthew Price noted that to “get a broad-based sense of congregational vitality, we have used a number of measurements including church school enrollment, marriages, funerals, child baptisms, adult baptisms, and confirmations. These speak to a parish’s integration in the community and the possibility for future growth.”

Church school enrollment has declined by 33 per cent.
The number of marriages performed declined by 41 per cent.
The number of burials fell by 21 per cent.
The number of child baptisms declined by 36 per cent.
The number of adult baptisms declined by 40 per cent.
The number of confirmations declined by 32 per cent.

“While these numbers may not capture the totality of what is happening in the Church, we do not have a measure that is moving in a positive direction,” the church’s statisticians reported.

In the six years following the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, from 2004 to 2010, the Episcopal Church’s average Sunday attendance fell by 17 per cent and its total membership declined by 13 per cent.  Of those still in the Episcopal Church as of 2010, 30 per cent were over the age of 65, where as those over 65 comprise only 13 per cent of the total U.S. population.

In addition to the church’s sharp decline in its pastoral health, the number of churches reporting financial difficulties rose sharply such that by 2010 72 per cent of congregations reported they were in “financial stress”.

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Comments

1. Ian Welch - February 10, 2012

The US decline is little different to that occurring in Australia, NZ, England or Europe and is not due to any specifically American faults or failings.

The issue that is being obscured in all the heat and endless yapping is that our long and historic adherence to the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible has lost its appeal to our communities.

We can come up with all sorts of explanations except the one that really matters—proclaiming our faith in ways that really have meaning to people today.

Despite all the innovations and claims of the last forty or so years, across the Christian spectrum, the undeniable fact is that historic Christianity is in decline and it may be approaching terminal velocity.

We cannot ignore our divisions, our errors, our arrogance or, to sum it up, our sin. Repentance is the starting point and there is little real sign of that in our Anglican tradition at the present time.

2. Episcopal Church in Sharp Decline « Fr Stephen Smuts - February 10, 2012

[...] Source [...]

3. “The Doctor” is in « A Third Way - February 11, 2012

[...] by the statisticians of The Episcopal Church to our Executive Council. You can read the article here. The report catalogues a 10 year decline in all quantifiable areas. I want you to take note of how [...]


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