The decline of The Episcopal Church

From here:

Episcopal Church down 24% in ten years

Baptized membership in the Episcopal Church of the USA declined by 29,679 in 2012 to 2,066,710, the Episcopal Church reported on 31 October 2013.

Statistics released by national church showed Average Sunday Attendance declined steadily across [t]he church as well 2.6 per cent in 2012, with 679,923 Episcopalians in church on Sundays.

At least TEC publishes up to date statistics, which is more than can be said for the Anglican Church of Canada whose last published number was in 2007. Then there  were 545,957 people on parish rolls.

If the ratio of church attendees to “membership” is the same in Canada as it is in the US, there would have been 179,613 people attending ACoC churches in 2007; fewer today, of course.

14 thoughts on “The decline of The Episcopal Church

  1. No argument with the national stats, but our parish in little St George, Utah, 110 miles from Las Vegas, has tripled the membership in the last five years. We have a female priest who is fantastic, and three other excellent ones assisting. The “assistants” are all retired and moved here from other places. An embarrassment of riches.

  2. Interesting that on the Stats Can website there a few religious groups with total membership of less than 1,000 (smallest group had only 515). I am wondering if the Anglican Church in North America people are being lumped into the Anglican group? Catholics and Orthodox are broken out into sub-groups. Perhaps it is time that Stats Can does the same thing for Anglicans.

  3. when we were still in the diocese of bc, i saw that they very diligently collected stats on attendance and membership> they just don’t want anyone to see how bad it is.

    • Let’s not kid ourselves. Nearly all denominations in Canada and the US are in decline… and all try to paint the best picture of what their current state is.

      Let’s take ANIC which frequently talks about growth. It is growing but the new churches are mostly groups who have left the ACoC. This kind of growth cannot last forever.

      If you look at the churches once they join ANIC, many decrease in size significantly. I know that there are some exceptions but based on the ANIC churches that I have visited in Alberta and in BC, the attendance statistics on the ANIC website are not accurate. The statistics may represent what the size of the church was when it joined ANIC but it does not represent the size of it today.

  4. From the response of Edmonton Anglican I would conclude that he does not support ANIC as he states the ANIC churches are losing members. In that context one should carefully consider Matthew 7:13-14. Tragically many so-called bishops in the ACoC have taken the wide gate and quickly accept the feelings or beliefs of society. Rather than bringing the Gospel to society they are prepared to allow society to change them. In doing so they are infecting many in the pews and in some cases their beliefs make a mockery of the Eucharist as many are quick to accept that Christ is not THE way but only a way.

    • I do not follow your argument Frank. You appear to be making huge assumptions on my statement.

      How does making a statement that the statistics on the ANIC website are outdated make me not supportive of ANIC churches? One example… I went to the new ANIC church in Edmonton a few weeks ago. The website says that they have an average attendance of 100. There were about 60 people there. I asked someone there if this was normal. They said that they average 60-80 people each week. I found the same experience at a Calgary church in the spring.

      All I am saying is that the statistics in the ANIC site are not accurate. The numbers on the site may have been the original size, but they are not reflective of today’s reality in at least some ANIC churches. So, in my opinion, ANIC is no different than most church denominations in Canada today when it comes to attendance rates.

      • I also am not sure of your exact meaning on “making a mockery of the Eucharist” statement. But, I would encourage you to attend the ANIC church “The Table” in Victoria. (Which I like and support… and is one of the few growing churches I know). They are very welcoming and innovative when it comes to celebrating the Lord’s Supper. All are welcome to join. I’m not sure how this fits into your last comment as this church appears to be taking the “wide gate” and allowing anyone to partake.

  5. Thanks for the clarification AMP. I would argue that most growth in the Catholic,Orthodox and Pentecostal churches is from immigration trends. In this case, I would agree that some churches are growing in absolute numbers in Canada. This would also explain why Islam, Buddhism and other religions also have grown in Canada. (See page 360 of the book you quoted)

    But, in terms of Canadian-born members, I think that most denominations are shrinking.

    • Certainly there are many influences affecting Church membership and immigration is one of them. The fact the we Canadians are not making enough babies to replace ourselves plays into the over-all picture also. Add into all of this that people are moving from denomination to denomination. The picture as a whole is a jumbled up mess, and it is next to impossible to see anything.

      Simply put, religion is part of a human existence, and as such no “broad brush” statement is ever going to be able to adequately explain any of it.

  6. Church attendance varies from time to time. Any healthy congregation today may be sick or dying 40 years from now. We can learn a lot from studying the subject of church history.

  7. When you take the position that Michael Ingham and some other apostate bishops have taken which is to say that all religions lead to God then the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was for naught and makes God the Father totally unjust. Jesus plainly states that He is THE way and that no one comes to the Father but through him. I am a member of an ANIC church and it is a very supportive church and is growing constantly.
    What is meant by the “wide gate” is apostate bishops and clergy leading those in the pews from THE way by refusing to fully accept the authority of Scripture and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.

  8. It is interesting to note that Archbishop Douglas Hambidge, a former Bishop of New Westminister, once said, “The Kingdom of God is eternal, not the Anglican Communion”. More than 13 years ago, Dr. Alister McGrath, a British theologian, wrote: “When the dust of postmodernism settles, four institutional forms of Christianity will have survived: Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism”. Dr. McGrath, a former Principal of an evangelical Anglican theological college, did not include Anglicanism on his list. Perhaps, sometimes we Anglicans think too highly of ourselves.

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