frgavin on April 10th, 2011

From CEN

THE LEADERSHIP of the Episcopal Church is out of touch and unrepresentative of its membership, a report published by the national Church’s statistics office reveals.

A paper released last month by the Church’s department for Congregational and Diocesan Ministries finds the membership of the national Church is evenly divided along theological grounds, and also offers a snapshot of the denomination’s health.

Based upon responses received from 837 Episcopal parishes the findings paint a picture of an ageing and divided church.

Over half, 52.4 per cent, of the congregations are small, with an average worship attendance of less than 70 people with the median parish having 66 persons at Sunday worship in 2009, a decline of 15 per cent since the fight over the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire.

The median Episcopal congregation had 160 members in 2009, down from 182 in 2003. Sixty per cent of these members are female, 86.7 per
cent are of European (white) descent, and 69 per cent of all congregations report more than half of their members are over 50 years of age.

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