Alan Jamieson writes – Three events last week have left me wondering about the degree of diversity and change in the church today. On Tuesday (21st June) Prof. Peter Lineham of Massey University hosted a conference on Church attendance in New Zealand. Drawing on census data, telephone polls and an extensive analysis of the 2001 National Church Life Survey key trends were highlighted.
Here are a few:
- Bringing together four recent telephone polls it would seem around 13% of New Zealanders attend church each week and up to a total of 24% monthly. The Catholic Church represents approximately a third of these attendances.
- There is currently little research on church life in New Zealand and less denominational money is being invested in research.
- The average age of New Zealanders is 38 years. The average age of Pakeha protestant church attenders is between 52 and 62 years
- Around a third of Auckland’s population were born outside of New Zealand. This makes the Auckland situation unique and this immigrant growth represents a sizeable proportion of the buoyancy in Auckland churches – especially Pacifica and Asian churches.