Pittsburgh diocese reports membership increase

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has reported a slight increase in the number of baptized members.

Figures released this week show that the number of baptized members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh increased 1.5 percent in 2010, from 8,644 to 8,775. Pittsburgh is one of 33 dioceses to report membership increases out of 110 in the Episcopal Church (U.S.).

Membership in the Pittsburgh diocese is down significantly since the split that saw 77 parishes affiliate with the Anglican Church in North America. There were 19,148 baptised members of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh in 2008, before the split.

Average Sunday attendance in the diocese in 2010 was 2,378, down 4.2 percent from 2009. But average collections, including pledges, have gone up 3.2 percent overall. Attendance before the 2008 split was 7,193.

“Overall, we are seeing some encouraging signs, particularly in giving and average Sunday attendance,” said Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer of the Episcopal Church. “Thirty-three dioceses witnessed growth and upswing in the past year. These figures, in noting comparisons to previous years, continue to suggest that our health as a body depends on an outward focus in mission and ministry. One thing I personally hope for the future is that we can find ways of telling the story of what is going on in our churches more comprehensively so as to get at the real picture of people being served and missional commitment.”

More details are available at the Episcopal Church’s website.