Sunday, December 14, 2014

Top Posts from 2014

Here are the 10 most viewed posts from 2014 on Opinionated Vicar

1. Latest Church of England Attendance Stats: making mud seem clear: written in the light of the CofE stats released in March.

2. The Parish system: game over? (also attracted most comments)

3. Vicars: Personality Type and  Church Growth (some of the church growth research published at the start of the year linked particular clergy personality types to growing churches, though the growth was self-reported: do extrovert visionaries tend to big things up, or are they actually more suited to parish leadership than the average?)

4. First Woman Bishop: the Shortlist (not entirely serious...)

5. Vicars - A Great Resource Squandered? (in the light of some research which showed a large % of clergy saying the church was bad at recognising their talents and gifts)

6. Women Bishops: the morning after (a lament that the CofE had taken so long to get round to it, and had taken its eye off the main business of the church)

7. Questions for the CofE to ask itself  (how realistic & ruthless does the CofE need to be in order to survive?)

8. Is the Bishop of Bath and Wells a person or a tourist attraction? at the time when there was a public outcry at the prospect of the new Bishop of B&W living somewhere more normal than the Palace in Wells (complete with moat, swans etc.)

9. Latest CofE stats: Attendance by Diocese 2009-13 (table of attendance change by Diocese, based on the figures up to 2013).

10. Growing Churches and Good Vicars: Blog round up and thoughts  posted after Justin Welbys comments early in the year linking church growth to having a 'good vicar'

Looking at the list, it's striking how Anglican they all are - nearly all are about CofE structures, practice and priorities. There's a danger in that of becoming too niche, a talking/blogging shop for Anglican concerns alone. I blog regularly about all sorts of other things - mental health, politics, money, media, culture etc., but none of it gets the kind of traffic that these things do.

On one hand, I'm pleased these posts are getting the visits and comments - part of the reason for posting them is to get a debate going in the CofE. A few years ago I felt like a bit of a lone voice, going on about mission, growth and leadership, but now these are mainstream topics of discussion. And there are some easy ways to grab Anglican traffic (e.g. the #synod hashtag during General Synod meetings) which I haven't really worked out for the other denominations!

On the other hand, I'm still frustrated that a comedy list of women bishops gets more than 10x as many visits as a post on mental illness a few days later.

For info, because people sometimes ask, the top post here has had just over 4000 hits (according to Blogger stats, which I don't think are very accurate!!) The site gets roughly 500-700 hits on an average day, but again I'm not convinced that's accurate, and a lot of it is spam. As a sign of how blogging has evolved since I started, main traffic sources are Twitter and Facebook, though a link from Thinking Anglicans is still worth quite a bit.


  1. Blogger stats are vary inaccurate, as they do count a lot of robots. Analytics is better, on the whole.

  2. I had Analytics for a bit, but found I was spending too much time footling around with it. Blogger may be awful but at least it isn't so much of a potential timewaster.