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Showing posts from June, 2014

Growing Unitarian congregations 2013

More analysis from the Annual Report. 2010 was the first Annual Report to list quota membership numbers, so it's now possible to use this baseline to see what congregations are shrinking (most of them) and which are growing (some of them). Keeping in mind that quota numbers are a poor reflection of the reality of congregations, I still think it's valuable to do a bit of analysis. Three years is also too short a time. Five would be better. Also an increase of 1 or 2 is probably within the margin or error for this kind of thing. But with all this in mind we can see the growth in the following congregations, comparing 2010 and 2013. Congregation Increase in members Change London Islington and Newington Green            22 From 70 to 92 London Golders Green 14 From 41 to 54 Birmingham Hollywood   11 From 48 to 59 Bangor* 8 From 0 to

3,384 or 3,900 and why "visibility" is not the answer

This is a delayed post of the usual post I do about Unitarian membership numbers reported in the Annual Report. The number of Unitarian members reported in the Annual Report is 3384, down 84 people from 3468 last year. A drop of about 2.5%. Here's how the numbers look over the last few years: 2005: 3952 2006: 3754 2007: 3711 2008: 3642 2009: 3658 2010: 3672 2011: 3560 2012: 3468 2013: 3384 Despite a short blip in 2008 to 2010, the numbers continue to fall steadily. In addition to the official numbers this year there was a congregational survey that reveals a few interesting things. One of the outcomes was that the survey suggested that the number of regular people in our communities was more like 3900 regular people in Unitarian congregations. This is hardly surprising as official membership numbers are likely to be smaller than actual numbers for many different reasons. The most interesting thing for me about the survey was the number of visitors. In one month

Resolutions are a terrible way to do social justice

So, how are you doing with your General Assembly resolutions then? What are you, or your congregation doing about… what was it again? Ah yes: Thought for the Day, gold mining in Romania, the Red Cross and books in prisons? Can I ask another question? What are you and your congregation doing about the resolutions passed in 2013? Um, let’s see. It was something about… drug reform was definitely one of them… no I can’t remember the rest. Can you? How about how we’re getting on with the resolutions we passed in 2010? Can you remember any of them? Or the ones we passed in 2000? Can you remember any of them? If, like me, you struggle to think what the issues were a couple of years ago, can I make a suggestion? Can I suggest that our current system is actually not working? Every year I have the faint hope that there will be no motions at all at the Annual Meetings. I think it would be wonderful if we could not talk so much one year and find something more useful to do wi