Small but steady Church growth trend continues
The Church of England has released its annual statistics for 2012* revealing small but steady growth in the Diocese of Guildford, which covers much of Surrey and north-east Hampshire.
Nationally, on average during 2012, 1.05 million people attended church each week, with 4 out of 5 attending on a Sunday.
Some 2012 headlines contained in the report for Guildford diocese include:
â€¢ Small but steady growth over the past three years in attendance
â€¢ Weekly (28,200) and Sunday (23,800) average attendances slightly up (about 1%)
â€¢ Child attendance is steady (c.3,700 per week for past three years) - ratio is around 5:1 adults to children
â€¢ Church visitors taking communion at Christmas were down to 24,800 in 2012 (as opposed to 27,200 in 2011)
â€¢ Christmas attendance was also slightly down at 88,200 (from 92,200 in 2011 when Christmas Day fell on a Sunday)
â€¢ Infant and child Baptisms are down very slightly from 2,790 to 2,760.
â€¢ Adult baptisms are up slightly from 210 to 230.
â€¢ Marriages are up slightly from 1,130 to 1,190
â€¢ Services of prayer and dedication after a civil ceremony are down from 80 to 60.
â€¢ Funerals numbers are up slightly from 1,230 to 1,250
The Bishop of Dorking, the Rt Revd Ian Brackley - who is currently leading the diocese while the process to appoint a new Bishop of Guildford is completed - said: â€œThese figures are a reminder of the work and service undertaken by the Church of England annually. On average, almost 1,000 weddings, baptisms and funerals are conducted each day of the year in local churches, just like yours â€“ marking the rites of passage in peopleâ€™s lives across so many communities.
â€œThe attendance figures reveal a mixed landscape nationally, but are particularly encouraging for all our churches who work tirelessly in their local communities, making a real difference to peopleâ€™s lives.â€
Some of the areas where the dioceseâ€™s churches are busy making that difference and encouraging people to worship, often in new ways, include:
â€¢ Buzzword at St Mary's Church, Cuddington, Sundays 11am
â€¢ Alive@6 St Andrew's Cobham, Sundays 6pm
â€¢ Songs of Praise Christ Church, Ottershaw, (at the Village Hall), Bi-monthly 2-3.30pm
â€¢ CafÃ© Church Holy Trinity Aldershot, Last Tuesday of month 6.30pm
â€¢ CafÃ© Church The Church on the Heath, Elvetham Heath, 1st Sundays 7.15-9.30pm
â€¢ Jubilate CafÃ© Church Dunsfold & Hascombe, alternate Sundays at 10.30am in Winn Hall, Dunsfold
â€¢ Space to Be St Clare's Park Barn, 1st Tuesdays 7.30pm
â€¢ Create Christ Church Hall, Guildford, Sundays 6.30pm
â€¢ Songs of Praise All Saints Lightwater, 3rd Wednesdays 2-3pm
â€¢ Intergen St Saviour's Brookwood, 3rd Sundays 10.30am
â€¢ i-worship Worplesdon, 4th Sundays 9.15am
â€¢ Penton Park Penton Park Caravan Park, Chertsey, held at Community Centre, 1st, 3rd & 4th Sundays 10am
â€¢ CafÃ© Church St Paul's Dorking, 1st Sundays
For many more examples and information of â€˜Fresh Expressions of Churchâ€™ including worship for younger visitors, please visit: http://www.cofeguildford.org.uk/diocesan-life/fresh-expressions/
* The full 2012 statistics are available here http://churchofengland.org/media/1936517/statistics%20for%20mission%202012.pdf