Directory: Churches and People

Greater Lincolnshire's congregations are growing, according to latest statistics

28 October 2016

Congregation numbers in the Diocese of Lincoln have grown by around 7.5% in two years, according to the latest statistics from the Church of England.

The statistics, available here, show that since 2013, around 7.5% more people are attending a parish church service in greater Lincolnshire throughout the week, with around 6% more people attending church on a Sunday. The increases at the major festivals have been even higher, with 12% more people attending church at Christmas since 2013, and 7% more at Easter.

The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, said: “These latest statistics are testament to the hard work of the clergy and the people of the parishes in making the church a place of warm hospitality, energetic community and fulfilling worship.

"The Diocese is actively increasing the number of parish clergy, and I believe that our growing congregation is a direct result of our efforts to bring the joy of the Gospel to as many people as possible.

“We certainly mustn’t be complacent. There is still a great deal of work for us to do in the diocesan family, but our clergy are being ever more imaginative in making faith relevant to everyone, by interpreting what the Gospel means today, and how the Gospel builds and nourishes community.

Increased congregation numbers have also marked an increase in giving, with a significantly increased parish share - the generous contribution by parishes towards clergy stipends and the work of the diocese - expected to be collected this year.

The Diocese of Lincoln is also growing in terms of the number of people exploring their calling to ordained ministry. Between 1998 and 2007, a total of 56 people from the Diocese of Lincoln were recommended for ordained ministry by national selection panels. Between 2008 and 2016, that number has risen to 88 - an increase of 58%. As a proportion of churchgoers, the Diocese of Lincoln has the fifth highest number of vocations of all dioceses.

The Bishop added: “We mustn’t look simply at the number of people attending church services, but also the immense amount of good work done outside of the church in communities, both in a structured way by parishes, and also by individual Christians in the way they live their lives and the example they provide.”