The Church of England's coverage across every part of the nation puts it in the unique position of being able to gather extensive statistical information. This includes:
- Attendance at regular services
- Special occasions
- Fresh expressions of church
- Financial information
Statistics are gathered at parish and benefice level and aggregated into Deaneries (clusters of 20-30 churches) and into Dioceses.
The aggregated statistics are used both by the church at national level and also by our own diocese.
If you have access to the Church of England's parish returns portal, there's a range of information that can be downloaded about attendance and finance via the 'reports' tab.
The Diocese of Chichester uses the national parish returns system which is administered centrally by the Church of England. Parishes need to activate their account before submitting, and details of how to do so have been sent out to all parishes. If you have not yet received your activation instructions, please contact us.
The system has the ability to produce reports, giving instant feedback on how the church's data has changed over a ten-year period, which will be both helpful and informative for users.
If you would like a copy of the paper form, please visit Parish Returns and scroll to the bottom of the page, where forms can be printed out.
Finance returns are not usually submitted until after your Annual Parochial Church Meeting, which will probably take place in March, April or May each year. (Church Law requires that the meeting happens before the end of May). Finance returns can be submitted through the same portal.
If you would like to speak to someone about the submission of your parish returns, please email the Database and Statistics Administrator or telephone: 01273 421 021