October 2023 early collection of attendance data
We are encouraging parishes to add their October attendance figures before 12 November.
Last year a large number of parishes in the diocese filled in their October attendance figures in November. This allowed analysis to be done, which showed an encouraging return to church compared with the previous year, though numbers of children and young people continued to be low. In addition it showed that persisting with online services didn’t seem to be affecting in person attendance, and that churches that had increased the number of worship opportunities (mostly services) seemed to have fared better.
There is still hope that more people will have returned to onsite congregations as more time passes since the Covid restrictions . Therefore, our diocese is planning to use October 2023 attendance figures from the Parish Return System to help us understand the trends that we are experiencing.
The 2023 Statistics for Mission form is now open on the Parish Return System. Therefore, we would be very grateful if before 12 November, you could update your return with your October attendance figures in your building plus any Church at Home during that time. These figures will be saved for you: when you complete your return in January with numbers of weddings and funerals etc; all the figures you have already entered will still be there.
The steps below give more help on how to add your October attendance figures.
Step 1: First, gather your figures from Service registers and any other records held about your Fresh Expressions and other forms of worship, for the first four weeks of October beginning Sunday 1 October to Saturday 28 October. If possible, keep separate figures for adults and children. If it is helpful to collect the figures on a paper form before you enter it online, you can download the form from the online system at 2023StatisticsForMission.doc (live.com) (Word document) or 2023StatisticsForMission.pdf (churchofengland.org) (Pdf document)
Step 2: Go onto the online Parish return system https://parishreturns.churchofengland.org
Step 3: Sign in as usual with your username and password. If you have forgotten these please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 4 Choose the ‘Enter data’ box
Step 5: Choose the 2023 Statistics for Mission Return
Step 6: From the front page please add information into the two sections ‘October Count’ and ‘Church at home’
Step 8. Next click on the ‘Church at home’ tab. Add the information requested then press ‘save and return to the menu’
Step 9. Do NOT press submit at this stage. Provided you have pressed ‘Save and Return to Main Menu’ on the October count and Church at home pages, you can safely leave the website knowing your data have been entered. In January 2024 when you revisit the website to add the final few items – e.g., numbers of weddings and funerals during 2023, you will find the figures you entered for this exercise have been saved for you and you will not need to re-enter them.
General Information about Statistics for Mission Returns
Each year parishes are asked to provide an annual return of their Statistics for Mission data (Sunday attendance, number of baptisms, etc). For further information click here
Parishes are also requested to submit their annual Finance data. For further information click here
The data currently being collected is for the year ending 31st December 2023.
Both the Statistics for Misson and Finance data is submitted through the Church of England's Online Parish Return System
If you have forgotten your Log On details or need an Online Parish Returns account, please contact Rebecca Hathaway at Church House at email@example.com or telephone 01928 718 834 ext 265.
Survey of Planned Giving
The Diocese also asks parishes to submit a return of planned giving by Email. For further information click here