2001 Church Attendance Estimates

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With the exception of the Catholic Church, congregational leaders taking part in 2001 NCLS were asked the following question:

1. Overall, about how many different people, adults and children, attend church services (services of worship) at this congregation during an average week?

People attending more than once per week should be counted once only.

This question forms the foundation of the NCLS attendance estimates. Congregational leaders were also asked to provide complementary information such as the average attendances at each church service and average weekly attendances for each of six years 1996 to 2001. In addition, the NCLS contact person for each denominational region taking part in the survey was asked to supply their attendance estimates for all of their congregations, whether participating in the survey or not.

The process involved in preparing the estimates of attendance for each denomination is complex.

This occasional paper has been produced to outline:

  • the procedures followed in preparing these estimates
  • estimates of attendance for each participating denomination
  • changes in the size of each denomination.


Authors: John Bellamy, Keith Castle


Bellamy, J & Castle, K, (2004) 2001 Church Attendance Estimates .NCLS Research Occasional Paper 03. Sydney: NCLS Research.