Statistically Speaking
The Research & Statistics Review
Issue 2, April 2017
A very warm welcome to our second issue of ‘Statistically Speaking’ – our newsletter to keep you up to date with what the Research and Statistics team are up to. Thank you for all the comments on our first issue – we hope this issue continues to hit the spot!  In December  we sadly said farewell to Debbie who has moved to Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire – however Debbie’s licensing to Associate Minister was a good opportunity for us to have a road trip to see Debbie and her husband Richard as they start this next phase in Debbie’s ministry (click here to see a picture!) This was a lovely distraction to the finance checks that were occupying so much of Ken, Louise and Charlotte’s time during January and February!

Bev Botting
(Head of Research & Statistics Unit)

Out on the road
by Charlotte Sibtain

“On the road again
Goin' places that I've never been.
Seein' things that I may never see again
And I can't wait to get on the road again….”


One of the great things about working for the Research & Stats unit is the chance to travel around the country visiting parishes, dioceses and our fellow research colleagues. Lincoln, Leicester, Truro, Guildford, Norwich, Oxford, Sheffield, Birmingham have all had a visit from one of the team over the last couple of years.

In March Ken and I had the pleasure of going to see the team at the Church Army Research Unit up in Sheffield. This was a great occasion for us all to catch up and share the various projects we have been working on. It was also the perfect opportunity to pick their expert brains about all things Fresh Expressions. As a team we are aware of some of the important work parishes are doing (Messy Church, Café Church, etc.) but it can be quite challenging to ascertain whether they are “fresh expressions of church” or other forms of outreach/worship. Indeed the Church Army have invested countless hours in talking to parishes to understand how they are growing new church communities through fresh expressions, which is why it is so important for us to work in collaboration with the experts! Ken and I came away feeling re-energised by our afternoon with the Research Unit and although there is still a way to go, we now feel ready to take on the challenge of better understanding fresh expressions (albeit with the help of the Church Army team!).

We were also fortunate to attend the Centre for Church Growth conference in Roehampton at the end of February. Nestled within the beautiful grounds of Whitelands College, the conference sought to further explore the work presented in the book ‘Church Growth and Decline in the Anglican Communion, 1980 – Present” Edited by David Goodhew. The day was a heady mix of research from all over the globe (including: Nigeria, USA, South America, Congo and Ghana) which enabled us to not only think critically about the wider Anglican Communion but it also meant that we could really engage with Anglicanism beyond the Church of England.

Next stop for the whole team is Birmingham for our annual Faith in Research conference, see you there!  

NCIs Live

Working within such a large organisation like the National Church Institutions (NCIs) means that it can be difficult to keep up to date with what other departments are doing. We tend to have conversations with our nearest neighbours (in our case the folk from the Council for Christian Unity) but due to the geographical layout of the building and the diversity of the departments it can be tricky to maintain effective communication. In a bid to improve this the NCIs recently a held a NCIs Live event here at Church House.

Click here for more information
Stack of pound coins
The Mapping Team is part of the Research and Statistics section. Our work includes maintenance and updating of the NCIs’ Geographic Information Systems databases, which include the Regis database, showing the Church Commissioners’ rural property holdings and  the Parish Boundary database which is used by all dioceses. We also produce maps and plans for various NCI departments.

Click here to see how the parish of Rodersham has changed from the mid 19th Century to now!

Christmas rocking horse ornament

Here in R&S our favourite things are massive lists of numbers and big ugly spreadsheets. However, we know that such delights are not everyone’s cup of tea. To help parishes, dioceses, and others make more use of the detailed attendance information in their annual Statistics for Mission returns we produced a one-page overview of the figures from the past 10 years for every parish in the Church of England.

Click here for more information

Ministry stats Q&A
By Louise McFerran

If you were to type the word “vicar” into a search engine and run an image search, what would you expect to see? Are they a man or a woman? Young or old? In a church or on a shopping street? “Ministry statistics” provides an overview of ordained clergy serving in the Church of England. It explores aspects such as gender and age, alongside looking at how our clergy move between different roles within the Church of England and more widely.

To find out more about where the data come from, the challenges we have to overcome and what we’re hoping to improve
please read this Q&A
Don't forget there are still 2 weeks to go to get your Statistics for Mission returns in!
Faith in Research conference 17th May 2017
Book your place here:
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If you have any feedback regarding the newsletter please email

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Church House,
Great Smith Street,

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