Recent Statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts

(Note that I decided to research these numbers based on the preceding post about the bishop of the diocese–KSH).

According to the U.S.Census Bureau’s figures, Springfield, the see city of the diocese, has grown in population from 152,082 in 2000 to 153,060 in 2010. This represents a population growth of approximately 0.6% in this time frame.

According to Episcopal Church statistics, the Diocese of Western Massachusetts went from Average Sunday Attendance (or ASA) of 7,295 in 2000 to 5,208 in 2010. This represents a decline of 28.6% during this decade.

Please note that if you go to the link toward the end of this sentence and enter “Western Massachusetts” as the name of the diocese and then “View Diocese Chart” underneath on the left you can see in pictorial form some of the data from 2000-2010.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Data

8 comments on “Recent Statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts

  1. Kendall Harmon says:

    In searching through some more material, blog readers may be interested to know that ASA in 1994 in this diocese was 7,677.

  2. lostdesert says:

    They are preaching environmentalism, redistribution of wealth, gay theology, sexuality to youth, everything but the gospel. Left a long time ago. What was once a conservative diocese has swallowed the kool aid. Goodbye TEC. You were once great, now apostate. Churches closing on every corner.

  3. Undergroundpewster says:

    Sad, but just as well. Fewer pewsitters to be misled by false teachings. 16 years of false teaching does have an effect.

  4. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Actually, I’m not sure how much of this is really +Scruton’s fault. He is what used to pass for a “moderate” and “centrist” in TEC. For example, I believe he abstained from voting during the confirmation proceedings about Gene Robinson back in 2003. It was widely assumed that +Scuton was personally opposed, but that many of his clergy favored confirmation of VGR’s election, and after all, VT and W.Mass are neighbors and he would have to sit with +VGR in Province I gatherings…

    A former parishioner of mine is a brother of Gordon Scruton, and that former parishioner assures me that his brother is personally orthodox. Interestingly, their father, now deceased, was a conservative Methodist minister.

    But if W. Mass used to be relatively conservative, and shares a border with such proudly revisionist dioceses as CT and VT, it’s also true that W. Mass shares a border with my former diocese of Albany. The point being that Gordon Scruton chose a very different path than the feisty and uncompromising +Dan Herzog in dealing with the growing apostasy and immorality within TEC. Whether you call that different policy “appeasement” or something nicer, the overall effect has still been largely negative, the relentless decline that Kendall has called our attention to above.

    FWIW, I remind everyone that only about 15 miles north of the diocesan offices in Springfield is the small town of Northampton, where the famous revivalist Jonathan Edwards was used by God to initiate the first Great Awakening in 1733. That whole part of W. Mass. used to be, some 275 years ago, one of the brightest burning centers of orthodox, evangelistic Christianity in the whole nation. In checking the Wikipedia listing on Northhampton a moment ago, I discovered that today, Northampton is regarded as “the most politically liberal” town of its Census category size (25K to 99K) in the country.

    Bp. Scruton’s ministry hasn’t taken place in a vacuum. He’s had to contend with a very challenging environment common in the Northeast, with both the general populationa and the economy is serious decline (if the city of Springfield has held steady, the wider area hasn’t). But if the economy and population were heading south, the so-called “mainline” churches have been in a state of utter collapse, of virtual free fall.

    IOW, I don’t think +Scruton should be made a scapegoat. There are a lot of WORSE bishops in TEC. What’s so telling is that even with a relatively centrist bishop and one of the more conservative dioceses in New England, you still get a devastating decline of 28% in ASA in just a decade. And I’ll bet the next decade brings the diocese and TEC in New England much worse figures.

    David Handy+

  5. paradoxymoron says:

    [blockquote]He’s had to contend with a very challenging environment common in the Northeast, with both the general populationa and the economy is serious decline [/blockquote]
    So the church prospers during periods of prosperity?

  6. Statmann says:

    For 2002 through 2010, the dio lost about 25 percent of ASA, but only 4.5 percent of churches (from 67 to 64). Lots of empty seats and less money to pay the fixed costs. But the truly dismal stats are 32 percent fewer Infant Baptisms and 46 percent fewer Marraiges. These facts certainly support David Handy’s prediction. Statmann

  7. MichaelA says:

    Thanks #1. So, from 1994 to 2000, ASA dropped hardly at all, then from 2000 to 2010 it nosedived. The liberal doctrines espoused by leaders of TEC are having their inevitable effect.

    ACNA lists 26 parishes in Massachusetts (including 4 AMiA and one APA mission partner), which is dwarfed by [120+?] TEC churches. But the way TEC leadership is going, they are throwing the door open to ACNA eventually becoming the main Anglican denomination in MA. Its almost like they WANT this to happen…?!

  8. Don C says:

    There used to be a few beacons of orthodoxy in Western Mass. Even the evangelical Church of the Nativity in Northborough has lost about 25 ASA in the last 6 years. Christ Church in Fitchburg has lost about 75 ASA over the same period.

    A few from Nativity could have switched to Holy Trinity, Marlborough (now ACNA/ANiC) which is the next town over but, I really don’t know.

    Hakkatan and Ian Montgomery mention Christ Church in this thread: Perhaps they could shed more light.