Thursday, October 19, 2006

Worse than I thought

According to this story in today's Ottawa Citizen, the Anglican Church here in Ottawa is in even worse shape than I thought. The diocesan synod is taking place tomorrow and Saturday - I might drop in for a bit to listen. The numbers are very bad:
Between 1997 and 2004, parish rolls fell from more than 33,000 to 28,500.

Similarly, Sunday school attendance dropped from about 2,750 to 1,800. But the most chilling statistic shows that, of the 123 active congregations, 41 per cent have 30 or fewer parishioners. Only five congregations have more than 200 members. And the congregations are struggling: 76 of the 123 reported a deficit, which by 2004, had amounted to $650,000 overall.
This is in the capitol of Canada, a city of approximately 750,000 people, and with long historical connections to Anglicanism. Actually, I would think that the population involved would be a little higher, since the diocese covers much more area than just Ottawa and its suburbs - it stretches way out into the country and even takes in a bit of Quebec.

It will be interesting to read the expert's report on the diocese, whenever it comes out in the spring.


Blogger Ellie M said...

But will the report address the REAL reason for the church's decline? Somehow I doubt it...

10:40 am  
Blogger Kasia said...

They brought in a CONSULTANT? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

"What people want in a church these days"...well, one thing *I* want in a church is a church that doesn't change with every consultant and opinin poll. Think they can work that in somehow? :-p

11:49 am  
Blogger Peter said...

Denial seems alive and well in the ACC. Perhaps addressing the real issues would also involve admitting that the New Thing may not be having quite the hoped for affect.

When reading the Anglican Journal, there seems to be increasing disarray and panic regarding finances, and some visible splits within the institution. When I read that the Journal may have to fold, or go online-only I can help thinking "oh, please, pleeaasee".

1:02 pm  
Blogger Peter said...

That is, I can't help thinking......

The Journal IMHO is the religious equivalent of a small dose of arsenic each month.

1:05 pm  
Blogger Ellie M said...

I can't believe they'd let the Journal fold. It's their mouthpiece, their Pravda. How else can they control the flow of information to the pews?

If they go online, there's a risk that in the process people will discover OTHER online info sources that are, shall we say, a bit harder to control...

2:28 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

You know, I just remembered this story from last year. It looks like Ottawa is tracking the national church pretty closely, losing about 2% of its members every year. A new report isn't likely to produce any new information, and even if it does, as Keith McKerracher said, the bishops and the bureaucracy aren't inclined to do anything anyway.

2:37 pm  

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