Friday, August 03, 2007

ACC - Ottawa diocese downsizing

Today's Citizen had an article by Jennifer Green on the parlous state of the Diocese of Ottawa. This study was commissioned last year, and has now reported (not available on the diocesan page yet). Briefly, the news is not good. Roughly one-third of the 138 parishes, it is recommended, should close - 4 immediately, and the rest in the course of a few years, as their remaining parishioners die off and the parishes become unviable.

I noticed that the lady who did this study, Ms Myrlene Boken, is the same one who did a similar study for the Diocese of Ontario. I looked it up for an earlier post, because I was curious about a nearby country parish that had closed. Some of the artifacts had wound up at the auction. I expect the Ottawa report will be similarly detailed. One thing I noticed was that a problem highlighted in the Diocese of Ontario was that the demographics were against the Anglicans; Anglicans declined from 19% (in 1981) to 15% of the region, and "50% of the membership is over the age of 60, compared to 21% of the Diocesan population." In Ottawa, it looks even worse, especially when you consider that this took place in only half the time:
Between 1991 and 2001, the Ontario portion of the diocese went from 12 per cent to nine per cent Anglican, and the Quebec portion went from three to two per cent, for a total loss of 7,000 Anglicans.

Worse, only 34 per cent of the remaining Anglicans attend service every week, so that in about 40 churches, there are less than 25 people every week. And those attending were three times more likely to be over the age of 60 than the rest of their communities.


Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Those stats are even more interesting when you look at the few parishes (including my own) that are growing. At my parish, we have four services, with 140 regular attenders, up from 125 two years ago. We also have a large Sunday school and "college and careers" group. Guess what? We are orthodox and members of the Anglican Network in Canada. The other parishes that I know of that are large and growing are either officially affiliated with Essentials or Essentials friendly.

9:49 am  
Anonymous Mrs. Falstaff said...

Oh, The ANiC is a branch of Essentials, I guess I didn't make that clear.

9:50 am  
Blogger Nicholodeon said...

A propos of nothing, Doc, today, August 4, is the Feast Day of St. Sithney of Cornwall (d. ca 529 AD). He is the patron saint of mad dogs.

I came across a site for a newly founded Order of RC Sisters (I think they are the Sisters of the Redeemer). They have over 400 life professed, and were founded in the 1990s.

They recite the 7-fold office. Their priest celebrates the Latin mass facing away from the people. They wear a full habit. They operate catholic schools, and are growing by leaps and bounds.

Judging from their horarium they spend a lot of time practicing Gregorian chant for the Mass and what are they doing wrong? All the other orders are down to a few ancient sisters in retirement...

One of my friends who is a Religious of St. Joseph of Carondolet says they haven't had a vocation for almost 30 years.

Your stats on the Anglicans drew attention to the decline in religious vocations being experienced elsewhere. I think there is a tie-in with what passes for 'renewal'...both in Rome and among the Anglicans.

12:28 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Patron saint of mad dogs, eh? Well, that explains why Yin slipped off her leash while I was walking her today! I had to chase her all the way up Riverside until we reached home!

2:17 pm  
Blogger The Bovina Bloviator said...

Nick, that's wonderful news you report about the nuns (I love nuns, they're so, well, Godly!).

May I offer a small suggestion? Regarding ad orientem, writing the priest is "facing away from the people" is how the innovators (who are opposed to the practice) put it, suggesting an aloofness on the part of the priest (utter BS!). I think it better to say the priest is, as they do in the Orthodox Church, facing east, along with the rest of the congregation. Do you agree?

Fond regards,

1:02 am  
Anonymous ellie m said...

I was watching one of the Canadian news channels yesterday and the news ticker on the screen ran an item about the Anglican Church revising the hymn book to contain reggae songs by Bob Marley and others.

I swear you can't satirize this church anymore. Seriously, if you were doing an April Fool's item on the Anglican Church, what would you write? Anglican parish does Eucharist with everyone dressed as clowns? Episcopalian priest moonlights as Druid? Lesbian priest preaches sermon on eroticism? Hahahaha, pull the other one... what? Oh.

9:41 am  
Blogger Nicholodeon said...

BB: Oh yes, I do agree. I thought the phrase that I used was de rigueur chez les heterodox...mea culpa.

So I looked for the sisters' website and cannot find it! But they have a marvellous photo of most of them in long black habits with guimpe and wimple and long black veils that gives one hope for the religious life among the Western Christians.

9:40 pm  
Blogger Nicholodeon said...

Oh Ellie
You can still satirize the Anglican Ecclesial Body ...

Some new hymns for the Dogmatic version of the Book of Common Bays include 'It's been a dog's day life' by the Beagles; 'Hello Hydrant, my old friend' by Fido and Garbarkel; 'Kum ba dawg' by somebody; and 'I wish I wuz an Oscar Myer wiener' to be used for Other Occasions.

10:12 pm  
Blogger The Bovina Bloviator said...

Nick, as long as there are nuns there is hope.

10:12 pm  

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