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Statistics for evidence-based policy in the Church of England : predicting diocesan performance

By Leslie J. Francis, Patrick Laycock and Andrew Village


This study computed the percentage changes recorded on six separate performance indicators between 1991 and 2000 in order to calculate the effect of the Decade of Evangelism on the mainland dioceses of the Church of England. The performance indicators were usual Sunday attendance, Easter Sunday communicants, Christmas communicants, electoral roll membership, total baptism figures, and total confirmation figures. Statistical procedures (including cluster analysis, analysis of variance, canonical correlation analysis, and multiple regression) were then employed in order to identify from the range of variables routinely collected by the central church authorities policy-related factors associated with church growth (or at least reduced decline) over this period. These analyses identified four areas, concerned with expanding non-stipendiary ministry, with encouraging the ordination of women, with resisting church closure, and with promoting a financial policy that includes planned subscriptions and charitable giving. These conclusions are offered as an applied example of using statistics as a tool for mission and as the basis for evidence-based policy

Topics: BR
Publisher: Religious Research Association
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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