We are always aware, as are the Church of England Statistics Team, that behind every statistic captured by the national church's annual return, is a human being encountering and worshipping God.
It is because of this that we encourage all churches to make records as accurately as possible as a pastoral care priority – recognising the national significance of the information being entered.
Every year parishes are asked to enter their attendance data via the online national system by 31 January.
The information doesn't need to be entered all at once; the system is open for Easter attendance data immediately after Easter itself. The system is very user-friendly and a user guide is available to help answer any questions you may have. If you require access, or need to set up new or additional accounts for your parish, then please contact the diocesan office.
If you are unable to complete the return online, a paper form can be requested and returned to the diocesan office.
If you would like more information about Statistics for Mission you can read our guide about completing the form.
We have produced a spreadsheet to assist you with recording and monitoring attendance at services and help you to complete your Stats for Mission returns at the end of the year.
Charts and dashboards
The online Parish Returns system also allows you to view charts and download dashboard overviews of the information you have entered. This enables you to see trends and to reflect on future opportunities opening up to you. (Click 'View data' in the menu at the top of the Parish Returns system webpage).
We are very grateful for the efforts from so many people in our parishes who seek to make annual returns as accurate as possible.