Parishes are being encouraged next month to participate in a national survey that will give a wider perspective on church life in New Zealand.
Questionnaires have been translated into several languages and, as well as being handed out during Mass at participating parishes, are available online—www.clsnz.org.
The goal of this cooperative effort is to nurture life in both the leadership and churches across New Zealand.
Every five years the Church Life Survey is done throughout the country. Archbishop John Dew pointed out in a letter to parish and congregational leaders that the survey has been carefully devised to enable parish clergy and national church leaders to better understand their congregations, comparing them with other congregations and denominations.
‘It will most certainly help us to prepare for pastoral area teams as we discern the particular needs of each pastoral area.’
Questions covering such areas as aspects of church you personally most value, and whether your parish is resourcing your spiritual journey well will give a view of the success of parishes’ activities and show areas where improvements could be made.
The survey is organised by an interdenominational, non-profit organisation whose aim is to help churches research the needs of their congregations so they can better plan for the future. Some 11 Christian denominations take part. The survey, which is anonymous, is being run under the auspices of Massey University’s Human Ethics Committee.
Questionnaires will be distributed to parishes that decide to take part in time for the survey period, 1 September to 31 October. They will take around 20 minutes to fill out and parishes are urged to have parishioners do this during Mass for maximum returns.
Parishes will then be able to use the information in their planning and can keep costs down by printing their own questionnaires and entering the data themselves.
For more information about the Church Life Survey, or to see a sample questionnaire, www.clsnz.org.
Parishes may also want to have extra questions included in the survey. This can be done but for a small additional cost.