Statistics for Mission

If you are the Data Administrator for your parish, this page will help you complete Statistics for Mission form online, what information to include and submission dates


On this page we cover:

The Online Parish Returns System
Paper submissions
Date returns are required
Frequently asked questions


The Online Parish Returns System

The Church of England's online Parish Returns system is available at Parish Returns - Church of England 

If you are not yet registered to make this return online and would like to be, or if you experience any difficulties logging into your account, please contact:


Paper submissions

Whilst we do encourage the move to online collection of form data, it remains perfectly acceptable to continue to complete the form manually.

Once completed, please return the form either by email to or by post addressed to The Finance Team, Diocesan Office, St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL


Date returns are required 

We would be grateful if you could complete the Statistics for Mission form by the end of January each year. 

The online system for 2021 returns opened on 4 October. The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2022.


Frequently asked questions

Where can I find the Statistics for Mission form?
The form is available to complete on the online parish returns website. On the homepage you will find a pdf and word version to help you gather your figures before completing the form.
What is the closing date?
As usual, the closing date is 31 January 2022
What should we include in “Church at Home”?
As with the previous October Count, the Church at Home question is focussed on worship services, therefore online house groups, youth clubs, Alpha courses, and social events etc should not be included there.  There is a comment box should you wish to share with us anything else, aside from services, you have been offering remotely to your congregation. 

There is some additional advice for churches about counting “attendance” at Church at Home services in the document Counting Church at Home Attendance
How do I count 'church at home' attendance?
You may be using a number of different ways to engage with people at home, for example YouTube or Facebook.   Both platforms offer some viewing numbers and these will give you some indication as to how large your audience is.

We’ve not asked for viewing figures directly as these figures are very variable depending on how the platform is used and for how long and will require some adjustment.  For more information on interpreting view figures please see “Everybody Welcome Online” (in particular pages 9 and 10) by Ven Bob Jackson and Revd George Fisher for some helpful advice.
We can’t fit as many people as usual into our church building so our October Count figures will be lower than usual.
Attendance ‘in person’ during 2021 will be impacted by a variety of complex factors, and therefore will be reported and used carefully and sensitively.  It is very helpful to know how many of our national worshipping community are currently attending church buildings in person so that dioceses and the NCIs can best know how to support churches and the CofE worshipping community.

Please be reassured that the data for 2021 will be used carefully by your Diocese and the National Church, taking into account the disruption that churches have experienced.
How do I report numbers of people participating in a service live streamed from church in October?
A service live streamed from church in October will be recorded on the form in two places.  Those attending in the church building will be counted in the “in person” October count section.  Those watching from home via the live stream will be recorded in the “Church at Home” section.
We are running 'church at home' as a benefice, how do we record the figures?
Ideally, as usual, we’d like separate forms to be completed for each church in the benefice.  We ask for this because each year there are a number of pastoral reorganisations across the church, so for us to be able to continue to use data we need it to be as fine grained as possible.

Where 'church at home' was offered as a benefice (or any other grouping of local churches) all churches should tick the answers in question 5:.
What if church buildings are closed over Advent and Christmas?
If your church buildings were closed during Advent or Christmas then please enter zero for these questions.  We are not collecting figures for online participation (we didn’t want to complicate the form too much!), but feel free to use the comment box if there is something particular you’d like to mention.


Key Contacts

The Finance Team

Get in touch

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