Church Growth Research Programme

Church Growth Research
An update on progress at the
12-month stage
Resource Strategy & Development
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England
The Church Growth Research
A robust, in-depth, study of the causes of
church growth within the Church of England
• Inform
allocation decisions /
provide tools for
diocesan & parishes
leaders to support
The research project contains
three strands…
Cathedrals, Fresh
Church Planting &
Benefice Structure
Data analysis (University of Essex)
• Making use of annual returns & other data sets
& applying a range of statistical techniques.
• A significant amount of data cleansing work has
been undertaken.
Church profiling survey (Essex)
• Survey has been sent to 3,700 incumbents – though
most of it can be completed by a lay person.
• Collecting church level data on a range of factors
which the annual returns do not cover
• Data will be linked to other data sets.
• Less than 30 minutes to complete – web based
• Heading for c40% response rate.
• Survey closes at the end of June, analysis will be
undertaken over the summer.
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England
Cathedrals (Cranmer Hall, Durham)
 Survey of Deans – most responded.
 Qualitative research days amongst members of
cathedral chapters and other staff.
 Detailed congregational surveys for 4 Cathedrals
(Birmingham, Gloucester, Southwell &
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England
Team ministries & amalgamation of
benefices (Durham)
Fresh Expressions (Durham & Church
Army’s Research Unit)
 An in-depth study of FX in 12 dioceses.
 6 dioceses (Liverpool, Leicester, Canterbury,
Derby, Chelmsford & Norwich) already researched.
 Liverpool: 78 FX, attendance 2,885, adding 10% to
diocesan attendance.
 Chelmsford: 50 FX, attendance 1,830, adding 4% to
diocesan attendance.
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England
Further findings from the Fresh
Expressions strand
 Six dioceses to date were all in decline 2004-10, yet
attendance drawn to FX’s in all 6 cases is greater than
the decline.
 For every 1 person sent, 2.5 others are there now.
 On average so far, the FX are 15% of the churches of the
diocese and 10% of its attendance.
 On average, 76% of the FX’s are taking some steps in
discipleship with those who come, 35% of those coming
are de-churched and 42% are non-churched.
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England
Church Planting (OxCEPT)
 In-depth study of 24 ‘Church Plants’.
 Researchers spending 1-3 days which each plant.
 Considering a range of different types of church
plants (e.g. Missional communities, BMO’s) and a
wide range of issues relating to planting.
 Not just London focused.
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England
Outputs and outcomes...
• Findings from the various strands integrated
• In depth report with academic integrity
• Practical guides and tools to help people on
the ground
• Stimulate the church growth research field
• Not definitive answers to all the questions
– though some rich evidence to inform
• Widely disseminated
© Strategy and Development Unit, Church of England

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