Support the Café

Search our Site

Rate of decline in Sunday attendance little changed from recent years

Rate of decline in Sunday attendance little changed from recent years

The 2013 statistical totals for the Episcopal Church are now posted at the Research and Statistics site and the General Convention site.

The table, Episcopal Domestic Fast Facts Trends: 2009-2013 shows a -2.6% change 2012-2013 in average Sunday attendance (ASA), little different from the -2.7% change 2011-2012.

Median ASA across all domestic congregations was 61 in 2013. In 2009 the median 66 and has fallen or held steady each year since. 60% of congregations in 2013 had an ASA of 200 or less. This percentage has varied very little over the last five years.

Though pledge and plate grew 0.8 percent 2012-2013, the U.S. inflation rate was 1.5 percent in 2013.

The table Statistical Totals for the Episcopal Church by Province and Diocese: 2012-2013 reports on membership and average Sunday attendance. Most domestic dioceses experienced percentage declines in ASA similar to the national decline. The standouts among growing dioceses were Western North Carolina where ASA grew by 3%, an ASA change of 190 persons, and Hawaii where ASA grew by 3%, an ASA change of 94 persons. Among all other growing domestic dioceses either growth in ASA was less than 1.7% or ASA change was less than 164 persons.



Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I know this may be a really lame comparison, and if it is, forive me. But I find a similarity in the decline in Sunday attendance and that of the problem cable news companies are having with dropping viewership. Now I am making some assumptions here that are not supported by any research I know of. But I wonder if, much like the problem the big 3 cable news networks are experiencing, people are finding whatever they previously went to church for (sermons, music, etc) online and they feel the brick-and-mortar experience is just not necessary anymore. Maybe we need to work on the human factor. If I am saying things that have already been said by others please forgive, I am trying to follow this whole process but I am rather new to the whole conversation.

Laura Monroe Albuquerque

Scott Gunn

There’s an error in the write-up. Median ASA fell to 61, not 152. That number is median active baptized members.

I hope people will pay good attention to these numbers. Another decade like this — falling numbers and income below inflation — and the majority of congregations will not survive. We need to be rethinking our institutions radically, not making a few tweaks here and there.

[Scott – Thank you for catching the error in the write-up. The paragraph has been rewritten. – JBC

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café