The Parochial Report, established by our Constitution and Canons, is a tool for the collection of data that is intended to assist the Church in planning for mission. The “new” parochial report form was launched in 1999 with only 40 questions, and represents what we hope is a better form yielding better information from more of our parishes and dioceses. The use of web technology has become another important development in our efforts to make this a useful and more easily accessed tool, and not one more task.
All dioceses now use the same reporting process, and all have immediate access to the Parochial Reports submitted by their congregations. In addition, all congregations have access to their own previously filed forms electronically, going back to 1998 and by using the same website that is used to file new Reports.
We continue to investigate ways to provide statistical reports to every parish that will enhance planning for the future while understanding the present. One way parishes can see their participation and giving trends is through the Studying Your Congregation and Community facility that is available for any parish and diocese. In one combined chart, membership, average Sunday attendance, and plate and pledge income can be tracked for 11 years.