You should by now have received your Parish Attendance Dashboard for 2015. Your Dashboard is based on the figures your church supplied on the National Statistics for Mission form and Weekly Attendance information.
We spoke to Revd Janice Hill, Diocesan Missioner who explains how you can use the attendance dashboards to inform your churches ministry.
Firstly, what are attendance dashboards and what is their importance?
“The attendance dashboard is our way of helping people to see what is happening in their Church. It is important we know what is going in our Churches. Questions such as - are we growing?, is the number of baptisms increasing or decreasing? Sometimes our hunches can be wrong so figures help us to see the actual not the perceived.”
“This information can inform our mission, it can help us to formulate the questions, we as a church need to address. For example - are we connecting with more people at Christmas? And, why is our Easter attendance so low?”
Tell us about the changes for this year.
“We have made the dashboard easier to print off - 2 sides of A4 rather than a booklet. We have tried to return your information in a format that is easy to understand and more importantly easier to use.”
What should a PCC do about them when they have received them?
“Set some time aside to look at the attendance dashboard and reflect on these points:
Why do PCCs need to keep filling in the data?
Reflect on the information in each section
Change - are there any significant changes over the past year?
Adapt - look at the areas of concern.
Go - summarise what you need to do next"
“The simple answer is these figures are required by the national church. But more importantly these figures can show us signs of encouragement and hope and can highlight where we need to focus our efforts in the future.”
What’s your role in all of this?
“As Diocesan Missioner, a key part of my role is looking at statistics especially ‘Statistics for Mission’, the annual return which our attendance dashboard is based on. We often say God has a sense of humour - well when he gave me this role he certainly did- I am hopeless with figures. But I do LOVE information that will help us to see where God is moving and how we can join in.”