Episcopal Church releases 2020 parochial report data

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Episcopalians can now access analysis of the 2020 Parochial Report data, including multi-year attendance and finance trends for individual churches and dioceses, as well as learn how COVID-19 impacted congregations from a special narrative report of qualitative data.

Data from the Parochial Report—the oldest, continuous gathering of data by The Episcopal Church—has been compiled and published on the General Convention website.

“I am so grateful to our congregational leaders for their careful attention to the Parochial Report,” said the Rev. Canon Michael Barlowe, executive officer of the General Convention. “Information in the data can be a tremendous resource to leaders in congregations, dioceses, and churchwide organizations as we envision and plan for the years ahead.”

Episcopalians can view a variety of metrics on the Research and Statistics pages, including a graph that shows trends over the past 10 years in Sunday worship attendance, finances, and baptized membership for any congregation in the church; data trends across the denomination, provinces, and dioceses; and demographic information of the neighborhood around any church.

While the report is often known for the quantitative metrics of average Sunday attendance (ASA) and “pledge and plate” (funds collected through offerings and pledges), the 2020 Parochial Report was changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic to include qualitative data. Congregations were asked narrative questions related to how their mission and ministry were impacted by the pandemic.

“Clergy and lay leaders showed great diligence in responding to the narrative questions,” said Iris DiLeonardo, research and language specialist. “Over 4,000 pages of text were received in response to the narrative questions.”

Responses to the narrative questions were incorporated into the summary of the 2020 Parochial Report Data and an in-depth analysis, “The Church is Not a Building: Observations and Insights from Narrative Responses to the 2020 Parochial Report.”

“Our 2020 data tells us much about the adaptability and creativity of our congregations, as well as helping to highlight areas of ongoing challenge and opportunities for growth,” said the Rev. Molly James, deputy executive officer of the Generation Convention.

In addition to congregational data, denominational, provincial, and diocesan trends are compiled in these nine reports:

  • Fast Facts and Trends 2016-2020
  • Baptized Members by Province and Diocese 2011-2020
  • Average Sunday Attendance (ASA) by Province and Diocese 2011-2020
  • Statistical Totals for The Episcopal Church by Province 2019-2020
  • Statistical Totals for The Episcopal Church by Diocese 2019-2020
  • USA Plate and Pledge Income Trends 2016-2020
  • Average Pledge by Province and Diocese 2016-2020
  • Financial and ASA Totals by Diocese 2020
  • The Episcopal Church Plate and Pledge Income for 2020

The Parochial Report, in accordance with Canon I.6, is developed by the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church, authorized by Executive Council, and overseen by the Executive Officer of the General Convention.

For more on the Parochial Report, please visit the General Convention website at www.generalconvention.org or contact pr@episcopalchurch.org.