Strands of the Research
The Church Growth Research Programme consists of three inter-related strands:
- The Church of England already collects data from parishes and dioceses such as that collected through the annual parish returns (these can be downloaded in PDF format here). Given that this data has been collected for a number of years the data set as a whole can be analysed in order to shed light on what factors are associated with church growth. This strand will use a range of sophisticated statistical methods to explore what we can learn from data that we already hold.
- The research is keen to learn about what is successful on the ground. The data that we routinely collect inevitably does not cover all the relevant factors related to church growth. This strand therefore will involve a survey of 4,000 churches in order to collect some rich data which will enable the researchers to develop a profile of growing churches from a wide range of contexts and traditions.
Structures: Cathedrals, Fresh Expressions and Church Planting and Amalgamations, Team Ministry and United/Grouped Benefices
- The third strand of the research involves an investigation of growth amongst cathedrals, a comparison of cathedral growth with that of other city centre or greater churches, an investigation into the impact of church planting/Fresh Expressions on growth and research into the effect of Team Ministry and Grouped Benefice structures.