Better data means better decisions

Which churches are growing?  Which are holding their own against difficult circumstances?  Which are not and need more help?  These questions can only be answered with the assistance of reliable attendance information.

In the past, only adults worshipping on a Sunday were recorded.  But our world and communities are ever-changing places.  So we now ask each church to include the numbers of children attending worship on a Sunday (including Sunday Schools) and to also report the numbers of additional adults and children attending regular midweek services.

Similarly, we are asking our churches to also record how many people, approximately, are attending live services online or via the telephone.

Completed Excel spreadsheet forms can be emailed directly back to, while the printable PDF versions should be posted back to the Resources Team at St James’ House.

Thank you to all the Churchwardens, Church Administrators, clergy and others who diligently collect their church’s attendance information and send it into us.  The data you provide helps us all, locally, regionally and nationally to make better decisions.

Counting the congregation

Further to the recent discussions of our diocesan synod, the following ethos should be applied to all church attendance counts.

1. All congregations should be counted and recorded. These congregations will include all Sunday services plus established midweek services - whether Eucharistic or non-Eucharistic. Emerging congregations (fresh expressions of the church) that have not yet matured into bodies where regular giving is reasonably expected may still be excluded from the counts submitted to the Resources Team. The key questions for inclusion are:

- Is there an open collection plate at the service or worship activity?

- Is there a core membership of 10% or more which give regularly as part of their membership of that congregation?

If the answer to either question is ‘yes’ then their attendance must be recorded and reported.

2. Those people who attend more than one service or worship activity during the same week must also be reported (see individual record sheets for detailed guidance) An allowance is made in the published diocesan attendance numbers for those who attend more than once per week.

There will never be an exact set of rules or formulae for counting attendance at services or other worship activities. It will always be a significant matter of trust and mutuality. However, your Archdeacon’s Parish Review will assess whether your declared attendance numbers fit with reality and are consistent with the approach used by other churches within the diocese.

Online Service Register app

Alternatively, submit your service attendance information directly online using the Online Service Register app.  Running on either an Apple or Android smartphone or tablet, the app can collect your service information whether you have an internet connection or not.

Churches using the app to record all their service attendances do not then need to submit a separate paper or Excel attendance sheets.

Information entered into the app can also be imported directly into your annual Statistics for Mission return saving the time and effort of searching your service registers at the end of each year.

For instructions on how to install and use the Online Service Register app, contact


Useful Resources

Church Attendance Forms


Church Attendance Forms 2021

Microsoft Excel versions (XLS)




Adobe Reader versions (PDF)





Who To Contact

Gordon Fath
0151 705 2180

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