Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Growth in London Diocese and Bishops Expenses

2 Anglican stories:

Great news from London Diocese of 7% growth in church membership over the last 5 years, including a 'top 10' of growing churches. I'm not sure if there's any other Dioceses reporting the latest info, but it's encouraging to see what's happening in London. There is an old adage that what happens in London happens 5 years later in other cities and 10 years later everywhere else (except perhaps Nempnett Thrubwell). The other interesting thing is that often when people hear about Anglican church growth in London, it's put down to the Holy Trinity Brompton effect (the home of the Alpha course) - looking at the top 10, that's clearly not the case. The top 1 is an HTB transplant, but several of the others are in an anglo-catholic or traditional Anglican stable.

On a different note, the Church of England has published figures for the expenses of its Bishops here.

The 2006 total was £11.3m, plus a further £13.2m on pay and maintaining bishops properties. The 2005 figures were £10.7m and £11m respectively.
The 2004 figure was £10.1m and £8.4m respectively.
That's a 43% increase in 2 years.

Oxford Diocese (I haven't checked others) did put a link on its home page to the information when it was first released a few days ago. Full marks for tranparency. In my own Diocese, office and staff costs for our two bishops have gone up by twice the 10% national increase. Comparisons are tricky - the same costs have gone up steeply in the last 2 years, but declined steeply in the 2 years before that. There has recently been a structures review in the Diocese, with a view to streamlining central structures, which may have a knock-on effect in the next year or two.

In the 6 years 2000-2006 the number of bishops declined by 1, from 114 to 113. Over the same period, the allocation of clergy to Dioceses (the 'Sheffield formula') has worked on a drop of around 10% in stipendiary clergy numbers (see this example from Liverpool Diocese, page 2).

I'm not really sure whether commenting would be helpful or not....

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