There’s been a great deal of research on the ways different sized Episcopal Churches function, and on the distribution of parish sizes. We know that most (more than half?) of the Episcopal Church congregations can be considered small or “family” sized congregations. And a small percentage of Episcopal congregations are considered large or “resource” congregations. And interestingly enough, most Episcopalians belong to large congregations even though there aren’t many large ones.
But to this point I’ve not seen any research on where the congregations of the Episcopal church are located in terms of community size. My guess has been that our congregations are in the city centers of historic communities – and rarely found in the middle of “metro-forms” (those loose suburban population centers that have no identifiable community core).
Someone along the line though must have done the research and the graphical results are posted on Facebook.
Take a look at the data – it turns out sort of like I expected. Most of our congregations are found in very large or large cities. I imagine that since 72% of our congregations are in metropolitan communities, our denomination is going to focus most of it’s attention and resources on issues that are common to large urban cores. And since only 13% or so are in rural areas, the rural congregations are going to take second or third place in our attention.
I don’t have much more to say about this than that at the moment. But it does help to explain why the topics that keep coming up in the Episcopal Church’s common life tend to be of the type that make sense in a place like downtown Phoenix and less like the ones that would make sense in a very small community like Benson AZ.
Any thoughts occur to you?