This page outlines very approximately some of the statistical numbers about our friendship group.
Methodists first set up a worshipping group in Hedge End in 1857.
The current building which many of our activities take place in was completed in 1924.
Sunday morning worship attracts an average of 65 people, so far in 2014 a low of 45 and a high of 140 people for individual Sundays was reached.
There are currently 93 people who are official members of the UK Methodist Church. During the course of an average week we probably see as many people again who are not formal members of this denomination, who are all valued friends, and just as much part of the fellowship family. The formal membership is shrinking by about 3% a year.
About 55% of us are women, and 45% men, so as far as churches generally are concerned we have a lot of men.
We attract people of all ages, although more older people during the weekend and younger children and families during the week. There is a trend nationally for younger people to take less part in the more old fashioned worship and community activities. We have less people in the 20-30s age group, who regularly attend social sessions themselves.
There are about 20 girls in the Girls Brigade and about 25 boys in the Boys Brigade, 20 people in Pop-in-Cafe , 20 at Rambles, 40 at formal dinners and occasional social events, 8 at Badminton. Saturday School “Jesus and I (Me) My Church”, is attended by about 15 children and Sunday School “Jesus and I (Me)” is attended by about 5. Our prayer and house groups are attended by about 8 people each group.
The trends suggest we are heavily losing once a week Sunday morning worshippers, but we are gaining children and people attending smaller weekday events. The once a week worship sandwich ritual is no longer considered important, to society. If we look at the sizes of many church congregations over the next 20 years, it would look as if at least half the current churches are going to close down. This at a time when more and more of the population, particularly the aging are becoming lonely and alone.
We have a responsibility to encourage and love each other though valuing friendship above ritual, for the world needs love for the individual and not rhetoric, and this must be above all, and is what a Christian community of people is about. We hope to be in Hedge End in 20 years time but we need to be part of God’s spirit, and also to work hard in many practical ways, being a local beacon to how God loves, and not the intollerance holier than thou joke that TV and the press portrays as being representative of the whole Christian community.