Knowing your place:
a desk-based survey
Dashboards and Spotlights
A lot of the information you want may already be available. Each incumbent and PCC should have received a copy of their Parish Spotlight and Dashboard. These contain summaries of key information gathered at the 2011 Census, and in some subsequent data. The Church of England’s Research and Statistics Department has taken this information and applied it to each parish. This gives you key figures for housing, income, ethnicity, age-groups and poverty indicators.
One way to present this information to a parish meeting is in the form of a quiz: for example, which the largest age group is among the resident population. Most people find in doing this exercise that some of the things they find out about their own parish really surprise them.
Another very useful source of readily available information can be a parish or town plan. Where these exist, and are relatively recent, they list issues a community has identified as important for their lives.
Whatever information you glean from these sources, you will need to supplement it with what you discover for yourself. However, it can help you decide what some of the key questions, or areas of investigation are. A range of the key sources is suggested here on this site.
If clergy, wardens, or PCC secretaries, need another copy of either your Parish Spotlight or your Dashboard, please email Mission Development Officer Doug Chaplin firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for another copy.