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THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Latest Statistics Show Continued Denominational Decline

THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Latest Statistics Show Continued Denominational Decline
TEC will be out of business in 26 years figures reveal

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
October 22, 2011

2010 attendance figures for the Episcopal Church reveal a denomination in steep decline.

Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) in 2009 was 682,963. In 2010, ASA was 657,831, a decrease of 25,132.

The 10-year change in attendance has seen a decrease of 23%.

57% of all churches have lost more than 10% of their attendees in the last 5 years.

Median attendance per church has gone from 72 in 2006 to 65 in 2010, pushing many more churches below the threshold of the required number of attendees to support running a parish and to pay clergy.

54% of churches had fewer people attending in 2010 vs. 2009. Annual attendance declines are accelerating across the board.

The decline was 3% in 2006, 2008, and 2009. It was 5% in 2007 and is now back at 4% for 2010. This points to a widespread decline across the whole church.

The decline cannot be blamed on a few churches/dioceses leaving the denomination.

The gospel of lawsuits doesn't seem to be winning any converts and is slowly hemorrhaging viable dioceses. Active homosexual laity, priests and two bishops have failed to draw in anticipated crowds.

Among the biggest losers are churches in Province 3 (-6.3%) Diocese of Bethlehem
Diocese of Central Pennsylvania
Diocese of Delaware
Diocese of Easton
Diocese of Maryland
Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania
Diocese of Pennsylvania
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Diocese of Southern Virginia
Diocese of Southwestern Virginia
Diocese of Virginia
Diocese of Washington
Diocese of West Virginia

and Province 1 (-5.4%).

Diocese of Connecticut
Diocese of Maine
Diocese of Massachusetts
Diocese of New Hampshire
Diocese of Rhode Island
Diocese of Vermont
Diocese of Western Massachusetts

Current overall attendance stands at 657,831.

If the trend, of an average of 25,798 fewer attendees per year that we have seen over the last 5 years, continues, in 26 years there will no longer be anyone attending an Episcopal church.

Latest charts can be seen here:

http://www.dfms.org/research/109378_ENG_HTM.htm
and here:
http://www.dfms.org/documents Episcopal_Overview_FACT_2010.pdf

END

EPISCOPAL DOMESTIC FAST FACTS TRENDS: 2006-2010

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Domestic Parishes and Missions 7,095 7,055 6,964 6,895 6,794

Active Baptized Members 2,154,572 2,116,749 2,057,292 2,006,343 1,951,907

Net Change in Active Membership from Prior Year -50,804 -37,823 -59,457 -51,949 -54,436

One Year % Change in Active Members -2% -2% -3% -2% -3%

Five Year % Change in Active Members -7% -9% -10% -11% -11%

Ten Year % Change in Active Members -9% -10% -11% -14% -16%

% of Congs. Growing 10%+ in Members (past 5 years) 28% 26% 26% 25% 25%

% of Congs. Declining 10%+ in Members (past 5 years) 41% 43% 43% 42% 42%

Total Average Sunday Worship Attendance (ASA) 765,326 727,822 705,257 682,963 657,831

Net Change in ASA from Prior Year -21,945 -37,504 -22,565 -22,294 -25,132

One Year % Change in ASA -3% -5% -3% -3% -4%

Five Year % Change in ASA -11% -14% -14% -14% -16%

Ten Year % Change in ASA -9% -13% -16% -19% -23%

% of Churches with any Increase in ASA (from prior year) 37% 29% 35% 35% 34%

% of Churches with any loss in ASA (from prior year) 49% 56% 50% 51% 54%

% of Churches Growing 10%+ in ASA (past 5 years) 20% 18% 18% 18% 17%

% of Churches Declining 10%+ in ASA (past 5 years) 52% 56% 55% 54% 57%

Percent of Congregations with 200 Members or Less 55% 56% 56% 57% 58%

Percent of Congregations with 500 Members or More 17% 16% 16% 15% 15%

Median Active Baptized Members 172 168 164 160 158

Percent of Congregations with ASA of 100 or less 63% 65% 66% 67% 68%

Percent of Congregations with ASA of 300 or more 6% 5% 5% 5% 4%

Median Average Sunday Worship Attendance 72 69 69 66 65

Plate & Pledge % Change from Prior Year +2.5% +1.3% -0.4% -2.8% -1.2%

Normal Operating Income % Change from Prior Year +3.6% +2.4% +0.4% -2.8% - 2.3%

Inflation Rate in Calendar Year +2.5% +4.1% +0.1% +2.7% +1.5%

END

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