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Bishops reaffirm support for National Church Life Survey

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and other major sponsors of interchurch NCLS research agency have agreed to support the carrying out of the National Church Life Survey (NCLS) in 2006.

"This is the only tool of its kind where every church attender and leader is given a voice", said Tina Rendell, chair of the NCLS Research Steering Committee. "The National Church Life Survey has been invaluable to Australian churches over the past fifteen years and is a symbol of churches co-operating to strive for a healthy, vital future".

Some 20 denominations collaborated in past National Church Life Surveys. It is expected that around 850,000 faithful in around 10,000 church congregations will be invited to take part in the 2006 survey covering attitudes, beliefs and practices.

Aside from the Catholic Bishops Conference, the current sponsoring partnership is between the Uniting Church Board of Mission and ANGLICARE (NSW).

Bishops Conference General Secretary Fr Brian Lucas (pictured) described NCLS as an authoritative "reality check".

"The NCLS has given us a 'reality check' for our hunches," said Fr Lucas. "We have not always been comforted by the findings, but we know that we have been provided a reliable, authoritative map of a changing landscape over time".

The survey model, pioneered by the Australian NCLS team, has been replicated in New Zealand, England, and the USA. The project is unprecedented in its size and scope.

"Our goal is to return the results in a much shorter time frame, and make them as easy to access as we can," said Keith Castle, Director of NCLS Research. "We hope that new technology, the internet and learning from fifteen years of experience will help us achieve this goal".

Sponsors agree to back the 2006 National Church Life Survey (NCLS Research 17/2/05)

NCLS Research
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

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Important book on church attendance wins recognition (CathNews 15/10/03)
Adelaide Vicar-General says Church must seek opinion of faithful (CathNews 20/5/02)

28 Feb 2005