Better data means better decisions
Which churches are growing? Which are holding their own against difficult circumstances? Which are not and need more help? These questions can only be answered with the assistance of reliable attendance information.
Our world and communities are ever-changing places. So we ask each church to record and report the numbers of all adults and children attending worship on a Sunday (including Sunday Schools) and to also report the numbers of additional adults and children attending regular midweek services, or fresh expressions of church.
Similarly, we are asking our churches to also record how many people, approximately, are attending live services online or via the telephone.
The most efficient way to report your church communities attendances is using the Church of England 'Service Register' app. Contact Gordon Fath at St James' House for details or a username & password. For those who cannot use the app, completed Excel spreadsheet forms should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, while the printable PDF versions can be posted back to the Resources Team at St James’ House.
Thank you to all the Churchwardens, Church Administrators, clergy and others who diligently collect their church’s attendance information and send it into us. The data you provide helps us all, locally, regionally and nationally to make better decisions.
Further to the recent discussions of our diocesan synod, the following ethos should be applied to all church attendance counts.
1. All congregations and worshipping communities should be counted and recorded. These groups will include all Sunday services plus established midweek services - whether Eucharistic or non-Eucharistic. While emerging congregations (fresh expressions of the church) that have not yet matured into bodies where regular giving is reasonably expected may still be excluded from the counts you submit, ideally we would still like you to still include them. A couple of key questions are:
- Is there an open collection plate, or contactless reader, at the service or worship activity?
- Is there a core membership of 10% or more which give regularly as part of their membership of that congregation?
If the answer to either question is ‘yes’ then their attendance must be recorded and reported.
2. Those people who attend more than one service or worship activity during the same week must also be reported (see individual record sheets for detailed guidance) An allowance is made in the published diocesan attendance numbers for those who attend more than once per week.
There will never be an exact set of rules or formulae for counting attendance at services or other worship activities. It will always be a significant matter of trust and mutuality. However, your Archdeacon’s Parish Review will assess whether your declared attendance numbers fit with reality and are consistent with the approach used by other churches within the diocese.
You can submit your service or worship community attendance information directly using the Church of England's Service Register app. Running on either an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, the app can collect your service information whether you have an internet connection or not. In addition to smartphones and tablets, the app can also be accessed directly from a computer's internet browser (Edge, Chrome, etc.) via this page CofE Service Register.
Churches using the app to record all their service attendances do not then need to submit separate paper or Excel attendance sheets.
Information entered into the app can also be imported directly into your annual Statistics for Mission return saving the time and effort of searching your service registers at the end of each year. This can include numbers of funerals as well as baptisms.
For instructions on how to install and use the Service Register app, contact email@example.com
Church Attendance Forms
Church Attendance Forms 2023
Microsoft Excel versions (XLS)
Adobe Reader versions (PDF)
For older date ranges of these forms please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who To Contact
t: 0151 705 2180