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