Church statistics trickle in slowly

Published May 1, 2008

Staff at the Anglican church’s finance department in Toronto are still working at updating national church statistics and hope to have them available in the Anglican Church of Canada’s 2009 directory, said treasurer Peter Blachford.

As reported earlier in the Anglican Journal, no church statistics such as numbers of parishes and clergy have appeared in the directory since 2005, which carried statistics for 2001.

“I’m happy with the progress to date. We hope to have 2006 statistics for the 2009 directory,” said Mr. Blachford in an interview.

He has consulted with diocesan finance officers about statistics collection and worked for nine months with a consultant on a Web-enabled method, however he said he ended the relationship with the consultant and decided to return to collection by paper forms. Eventually, he said, sending numbers electronically is the way to go, but was not feasible now due to “the amount of programming that would be involved,” he said.

Eventually, dioceses would enter statistics directly to an electronic database, he said.

Part of the difficulty in collecting up-to-date statistics lies with dioceses that “can’t send the numbers if they’re not getting them from their parishes,” said Mr. Blachford. He also noted that there is some variation in the type of statistic collected.

He added that a current priority is to get the 2002 statistics published shortly on the church’s Web site.  


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