I’m about to wade into deep water. I mean no offense, nor do I plan to come off as a pushy American. But I’m thinking about the stated executive goal of the British Unitarians to grow by 20% in five years. I found their 2010 (current) annual report, which for the first time has membership statistics.
The numbers, to me, say do or die. (The following calculations, while accurate, are naive ofÂ statisticalÂ analysis and independent confirmation; thus the title.)
The 163 member churches in England, Scotland and Wales have a aggregate membership of Â 3,672. The largest church is Rosslyn Hill Chapel, Hampstead, London with 168 members. But the second largest is Dean Row Chapel, Wilmslow, with 80. Sixty-one congregations have 10 members or fewer.
What would it take to get to 4,406, a twenty-percent increase? Well . . .
- if each congregation currently with 60 members or more made a net increase of 5% per year, each year, and
- if each congregation currently from 20 to 59 members made a net increase of 2 members per year, each year, and
- if each congregation currently under 20 members made a net increase of 1 member per year . . .
the General Assembly would increase by 34% after five years.
But hitting stasis would be a laudable and difficult goal for some. As I’ve said in the United States setting, this plan calls for new congregations and an examination of where they’re missing.
But you can run the numbers yourself with this comma-separated values spreadsheet sorted by home country, city, congregational name (where needed) and membership.