March 2012

From the Rectory

At the end of each calendar year the Church of England gathers statistics relating to births, deaths, marriages and attendance in Church at particular times of the year. This enables it to judge what is happening across the parishes and by comparing previous years statistics determine the growth or otherwise of the Church nationally. This has always been completed on a single A4 piece of paper and took very little time to complete. This year it had to be completed online. It required ten pages of preparatory reading. Then, using the various codes given by the diocese, access to the A4 piece of paper could be made. Unfortunately the diocese of Winchester made an error and you could not get past the first page. After six, attempts I decided to ‘phone the diocesan office, yes, they said, the information given is wrong. Eventually I completed the task: so much for computerisation. What used to take half an hour took all morning!

The following information about Freemantle was forwarded. For comparison the figures in italics are for 2010.

Baptisms 16 (16 ).
Marriages 5 ( 7 )
Funerals 7 (21)
Number of worshippers in Church on Easter Day 169 (153)
Number of worshippers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 281 (199)

The biggest change in numbers has come from the attendance of the school in Church. For their Harvest Festival Service in 2010 there were 200 whilst in 2011 there were 300. The school is growing rapidly and because the children now stay until 11 years of age this figure will increase even more. When the school is at full capacity we will struggle to accommodate all of them. What a happy situation to find ourselves in. Nationally in 2011 the attendance at Christmas Services was substantially up. We can all take encouragement from these figures. And with six newly Confirmed adults the future for Christ Church looks bright.

Yours for Christ's sake.