Divinity (School of) >
Divinity Theses >
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||A sociological and demographic analysis of patterns of church membership in the Church of Scotland in the urban city (Dundee)|
|Authors: ||Yates, Cleveland Buchanan|
|Issue Date: ||1985|
|Abstract: ||This research was stimulated by a concern for the losses in
membership being experienced by the Church of Scotland and by the
fact that only one research study had been carried out and that
had concentrated upon the Church's recruitment of young persons.
This was seen as too narrow an approach.
The research concentrated on the urban city of Dundee and
constructed a computer database of 20,297 membership
records  and 3,997 Questionnaire Survey records of actual
attenders in the 32 participating congregations. From the
straight-forward examination of the demographic and social
indicators, eg. age, sex, class, etc., a model of attending
frequency is built revealing that the Church's concern might be
wisely directed towards better administrative and pastoral care
of the existing members as its primary objective.
A further research aim was to develop spatial and 'modeling'
techniques in order that the existing patterns of allegiance and
attendance might be analysed. By examining the differentiation
between various sub-sets of members and attenders, the evidence
demonstrated that the Scottish council housing policy with its attendant displacement of population in Dundee (outlined in
chapter two), had exacerbated the phenomenon of
'membership-at-a-distance'. Distance, in itself produced lower
rates of observance, and it is argued, in turn leads to a greater
risk of lapsing.
The total effect of distant membership also produces
congregations no longer existing as coterminous with geographic
parish areas. The Church has continued to unite and merge these
spatially distributed congregations thus severing residual
allegiance ties and adding to the losses experienced from other
The main conclusion of this research is that the Church has
mistakenly attempted to respond to the situation with an
institutional 'reaction', whereas the real need for the present
is to acknowledge the primacy of the existence of these
congregations and to restructure its ministry and resources to
support the continuing existence of the congregations. It is
argued that a pastoral response is what has been lacking, and in
the absence of reliable, large scale studies, planning has
proceeded on the false basis that the 'parish' concept was a
suitable criteria in every circumstance.
In the concluding chapter, several practical recommendations
are made in respect of the churches own procedures, these being
derived from close acquaintance with the evidence of the data.|
|Publisher: ||University of St Andrews|
|Appears in Collections:||Divinity Theses|
This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.