Key areas of research

Church attendance statistics

The annual Statistics for Mission return collects attendance and participation information from across the Church of England.

This information is generally collected via the Research and Statistics Unit's Online Parish Returns System.

Church at Home 2020 (published October 2021) describes the worship offered by churches during 2020, when the normal worshipping life of many churches was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statistics for Mission 2019 (published October 2020) provides pre-pandemic figures including:

  • Attendance at Church of England services
  • Baptisms
  • Marriages
  • Funerals
  • Youth provision 
  • Enquiry and Christian basics courses

Detailed Diocesan tables (excel file).

Next publication: Statistics for Mission 2020 (due autumn 2021).

Earlier publications can be found on the resources, publications, and data page.

Parish finance statistics

Parish finance statistics are collected annually from throughout the Church of England.

This information is generally collected via the Research and Statistics Unit's Online Parish Returns System.

Finance Statistics 2019 (published January 2021) provides the latest financial information, including:

  • Income
  • Expenditure
  • Giving

Tables showing parish finances aggregated to diocese level are available as an excel file.

Earlier publications can be found on the resources, publications, and data page.

Ministry statistics

Ministry data provide summary statistics about the number of clergy serving in the Church of England. Statistics include:

  • Numbers of stipendiary and non-stipendiary clergy
  • Numbers of ordinations
  • Numbers of ordinands entering training
  • Age, gender, and ethnicity of clergy
  • Numbers of Readers / Licensed Lay Ministers

Ministry Statistics 2020 (published July 2021) and Commentary provided by The Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Director of Ministry, provides summary statistics of the number of clergy serving in the Church of England, including trends in total numbers in stipendiary and self-supporting ministry, age profiles, gender splits and ethnicity.

Detailed Diocesan tables can be found in a separate excel file.

Next publication: Ministry Statistics 2021 (due summer 2022) 

Earlier publications can be found on the resources, publications, and data page.

 

Lay Ministry Data Project

The Lay Ministry Data Project (published November 2020) and Commentary provided by Carrie Myers, Lay Ministries Officer, was commissioned (between 2018 and 2020) using Strategic Development Funding to attempt to understand the breadth and depth of lay ministry in the Church of England and provide recommendations for its ongoing monitoring, in order to better celebrate and support those working in lay roles.

Cathedral statistics

Cathedral attendance statistics are collected annually from all the Church of England's cathedrals.

Cathedral Statistics 2019 (published November 2020):

  • Attendance at Church of England Cathedrals
  • Choirs and musicians
  • Cathedrals’ involvement in wider ministry and mission

Next publication: Cathedral Statistics 2020 (due autumn 2021) 

Earlier publications can be found on the resources, publications, and data page.

Energy Footprint Tool

Energy data are collected annually from all churches buildings within the Church of England via the Energy Footprint Tool, which can be found on the Research and Statistics Unit's Online Parish Returns System.

Energy Footprint Tool 2020 (published November 2021) shows the latest figures including:

  • Carbon Footprints
  • Energy Efficiency based on church size, location and usage.
  • Types of energy used

Next Publication: Energy Footprint Tool 2021 (due autumn 2022)

Fresh Expressions of Church

The Fresh Expressions: State of Play Report provides a detailed account of fresh expressions data retrieved through Statistics for Mission. This includes the number of fresh expressions of church and their  attendance between 2014 and 2019. There is also a deeper look into details of fresh expressions of church in 2019, such as:

  • How often do fresh expressions meet?
  • Where are fresh expressions held?
  • What age groups are fresh expressions aimed at?
  • Do fresh expressions engage with those who do not normally go to church?

The Fresh Expressions Lifecycle Survey Report gives an account of fresh expressions that stopped running in 2019. This focuses on motivations for starting a fresh expression, challenges in running them, and ultimately, why they stop running.