Faith Digest

Faith Digest: Church of England attendance continues to fall

Church of England attendance continues to fall. Attendance figures released by the Church of England show Sunday worship attendance continues its downward slide and now stands at about half of what it was 45 years ago. On average in 2012, 800,000 adults, or about 2 percent of the adult population, attended church on Sunday, according to the report from the Archbishops’ Council Research and Statistics Department. That’s down from 1.6 million Sunday worshippers in 1968. Christmas and Easter services still attract the highest number of worshippers. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day bring in around 2.5 million people, and Easter services attract about 1.4 million.

Alban Institute to close. The Alban Institute, founded four decades ago primarily to guide mainline Protestant congregations to grow and become healthier, will close its doors. Total assets from the institute fell from $5.1 million in 2010 to $3.2 million in 2012, according to its most recent financial disclosure forms. Alban is in talks with Duke Divinity School to assume the remaining assets of an estimated $300,000 to $500,000, alban institute300with the possible creation of an “Alban Endowment Fund.” Duke also will acquire Alban’s intellectual property and mailing lists. A letter from the chairman of Alban’s board, Case Hoogendoorn, said the changes will allow Alban’s mission to continue, “albeit in a different form.” The Rowman & Littlefield publishing house acquired Alban’s publishing program and will continue to publish books with the Alban imprint. The books will focus on church governance, leadership and development with editorial oversight from Duke. The Center for Congregations in Indianapolis, which was launched under the Alban Institute name, will remain as an independent venture. Some of Alban’s consultants will continue independently, while eight others work together under the “Congregational Consulting” umbrella.

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