In November, the Church of Ireland will be undertaking a census' of the worshiping Church of Ireland population for the first time in many years.
On three Sundays in November (3rd, 17th and 24th) clergy and parish officials will be attempting to ascertain the age profile and gender profile of those attending services in Church of Ireland Churches throughout Ireland. Worshippers on those Sundays will receive a card on which they will be asked to indicate their gender and age. The card will be completely anonymous.
The objective of the census is to provide information on the worshiping Church of Ireland population and to enable parishes, dioceses and the Church at an island-wide level to make decisions for the future based on an up to date analysis of the Church of Ireland's population.
It is anticipated that the 2013 census will be repeated every three years in order to enable the Church to examine trends in worship attendance and ministry throughout Ireland.
The census allows for parishes and dioceses to collect their own more detailed figures if they wish.
It is anticipated that a summary of the figures will be printed in the Book of Reports for the General Synod in 2014.