The pandemic has done a number on most churches, causing sharp declines in giving and attendance. But even when factoring in attendance at the streaming services — which should have been easy pickins’ for the cultural Christians who attend at Easter and are probably eager for connection outside the home — things were grim for Grace Church this year. In fact, Grace increasingly looks to be circling the drain.
For example, counting in-person and online attendance, Palm Sunday managed about 220 persons. Not too shabby, but a far cry from the 275 or so that would have shown up pre-COVID.
The Great Vigil, counting in-person and online attendance, managed about the same—217 persons.
And Easter Sunday, counting in-person and online attendance, eked out roughly 300 persons.
What is most telling about these numbers, though, is that they, like Christmas, are high-water marks for the liturgical year. In other words, they are as good as things get. And right now, that is not looking too good. It also suggests that, outside of regulars, the community increasingly is disengaging from the parish. That’s not surprising, given the myriad examples of misconduct from within the parish.
In short, all data suggests Grace will continue its precipitous decline.