Thursday, 22 April 2010

The Parish Profile

I've been working hard on an assignment for the 'continuing education' aspect of my training. It's the Ordained Ministry Audit, otherwise known as the Parish Profile. I might be the odd one out, but I'm so enjoying the analysis of statistical data about my parish from the 2001 census! I'm combining the census information with other research from local websites, magazines etc., and I feel I know the place so much better now. I only wish I had done this much earlier! I have come to appreciate my curacy parish placement more now because I see the great opportunities that exist for the church (and myself as an ordained minister) to make connections with the community.

One fact that stands out is that out of a population of 14,450 people, over 10,000 of them stated on the census that they are Christian! Considering the attendance figures from the 5 churches in the area, there is something going on here that demands attention. The vast majority of those 10,000 people are not found in our churches. They are believing without belonging. I have my views on why this is the case, and it is a huge challenge to those of us who have found a home in church. I just can't get this out of my head, and I can't let it lie unattended to. It's my passion to engage with these non-belonging believers. Many books have been written on the subject, but I want to listen to these people myself. We've got to put ourselves out there!


  1. So important--to belong. Love your passion for this mission!

  2. I'm an ordinand in my second year of college. In my 'day job' I'm a business development manager and have a secular marketing qualification. In secular terms, the potential 'market' out there for the church is huge - and I firmly believe that there are so many people open to finding and discovering God (some who have in various degrees, some who haven't). The challenge for us is how we, as church, provide, teach, preach, evangelise today's society.

    I certainly don't have any answers! Just lots of questions and a burning desire to get out there!

  3. Thanks for posting.

    It's a huge challenge for us in mission and ministry terms today. The harvest is plenty but the answers are few! Each community is unique, so one size won't fit all - getting out there and involving ourselves with the people is key. No matter how much society has changed, relationships still matter, and a bias towards inclusiveness matters even more.


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