During May 2021, we conducted a congregation and community survey. Below is a report from our analysis of the survey responses. (You can also download a version as a pdf to print and read here. And there is also an 'infographic' summarising responses here.)
How Did We Collect The Data?
The survey was split into 4 Sections:
- Introductory Questions
- Church Member Engagement
- About You
Who Did We Listen To?
We listened to 215 respondents in total.
- 103 Church Members (48%)
- 112 Non-Church Members (52%)
Out of 215 respondents,
- 133 Lived in Hoxton (61%)
- 38 Worked in Hoxton (18%)
- 44 Lived and Worked in Hoxton (21%)
Church members filled in the whole survey while the Wider Neighbourhood (i.e. non-church members) filled in parts 1, 3 and 4.
Basic Respondant Information
Duration of Church Membership
54% of church members have been attending SJH for 5 or less years.
46 of respondents who were SJH church members, have been attending for 6 or more years with 25% of them attending for more than 10 years.
Relationship to Hoxton
- 61% of our respondents have lived or worked in Hoxton for over 6 years, and
- ~43% of respondents have lived or worked in Hoxton for over 10 years.
- 71% of our respondents live in the N1 postcode. Followed by 10% living in E2 (9%) and 9% in E8.
Sex of Respondents
Total responses: 212 Responses (~48% Male (100) / ~47% Female (102) / ~ 5% Preferred not to say (10)). We have a fairly split distribution of sexes across the congregation with a small percentage of those who preferred not to say.
Age of Respondents
Approximately 71% of our respondents were under the age of 45, that is 150 out of 212 respondents. In our parish, 85% of the local population are under 45. This tells us that our data collection here is fairly accurate.
Ethnicity of Respondents
- White/Any Other White Background (88) ~ 41%
- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British/ Any Other Black Background (84) ~39%
- Mixed/Multiple Ethnic Groups/Any Other Mixed Background (21) ~ 10%
- Asian/Asian British/Any Other Asian Background (13) ~ 6%
- Other ethnic groups (9) ~4%
44% of our respondents are working full time, whilst ~19% work part time or ~22% of them are students.
The annual income of most of our respondents is fairly varied. The average salary in Hackney is £33,210, whereas 31% of respondents earn £9,999 or below, ~29% earn £20,000 - 29,999 and ~10% earn £50,000+. What is clear, is that ~76% of the respondents earn below £29,999 and half of them earn below £9,999.
What we learned:
We can see that a majority of our respondents are deeply rooted in this local community over a long period of time. Both church-members and non-church members represent the diverse melting pot that is London in this area. In addition to this diversity are diverse lived experiences which we are familiar with in the operations of our church. We serve a deeply rooted community with diverse needs and life experiences.
What Did People Say… About Church Engagement?
At the time we took the survey (May 2021), most people attended the Sunday 10:30AM service.
As we plan for Sundays in the future, people listed the following service times in their order of preference.
- 1st Preference: 9:30AM, 11:30AM and 6PM (72 respondents)
- 2nd Preference: 10:30AM and 5PM (71 respondents)
- 3rd Preference : 10:30AM and 6PM (69 respondents)
The majority of people said that they attend church services ‘almost every week’. But this is not consistent with our records.
Serving On a Team
~31% (41) of the survey’s church going respondents serve on SJH mission and ministry teams.
Belonging To a Group
~72% of the survey’s church going respondents do not belong to a Connect Group at SJH
- 36% (48) of people said they regularly give to SJH. This is a little under what our records show but it is possible that we did not capture all of those who give to SJH
- 6% (8) of people said they used to give to SJH
- ~4% (5) of people said they’d like to start
Organising for Growth
- Overall, 37 people expressed interest in joining O4G
What we learned:
Whilst 48% of the survey respondents are SJH churchgoers, most do not serve on a team or belong to a group. Whilst this trend has continued from last year’s surveys, we are keen to see if this trend shifts when we fully emerge from the pandemic.
People said the following positive things about St John’s:
- “[I like the] community spirit, diverse and friendly atmosphere”
- “[There is an] eclectic mix of ages, backgrounds and outlook that make up the church body. General enthusiasm and commitment of the Pastoral team. Great worship and good teaching.”
- “[I like the] ability to adapt quickly, our diversity & ability to hold together in fellowship people who are very different from one another. Effort that goes in to the quality of our worship experience and also youth work”
- “I like how St John's cares about their youth, for example, they have different clubs for people to attend to.”
People at St John’s didn’t like or found frustrating the following things:
- “I think sometimes the church can be guilty of biting of more than it can chew and could do with perfecting certain aspects of the church life before adding more to the equation”
- “A few people doing most of the work”
- “People always being late for church”
- “Need to create discussion around queerness and faith”
What Could Be Changed?
People expressed the following things could be changed:
- “Encourage Connect Group attendance and benefits of being in a Prayer Triplet, creating a more contemplative worship space would be good”
- “Engage young adult engagement in wider church life”
- “Living in Love and Faith consultation”
- “Church building repairs and paint”
What we learned:
There is a lot of overlap in the things that people like about St John’s, and a huge variety of things that people don’t like. Even still, people’s answers expressed a willingness to stick with the church. This was most notable when people expressed what they didn’t like and suggested ways they’d like to see change. It is a positive sign of engagement that the respondents filled out the survey in the first place and we want to welcome more opportunities for listening and action.
What Did People Say… About the Neighbourhood?
Our Respondents’ Local Priorities Are: (responded ‘Critical’ or ‘Important’)
- Helping people with debt and financial struggles: ~91% (195/213)
- Supporting mental and emotional health: ~91% (194/213)
- Providing youth services and activities for young people: ~89% (190/213)
- Provision of genuinely affordable housing: ~87% (185/213)
- Offering childcare for parents: ~80% (171/213)
Respondents desired the following forms of support for their families...
In order of preference…
- Childcare for Parents in Work
- Recreation & Support for Teenagers
- Support and Advice for Refugee & Asylum Seekers
- Parent & Toddler Activities
What we learned:
There is a heart in the community for support with young children and young people’s development, be it through greater provision of childcare or productive recreation opportunities and employment. Furthermore,our respondents care about hospitality, be it having the security of their own homes or making sure we are hospitable to our global neighbours who seek asylum or are refugees. Overall, the recurring threads in people’s answers demonstrated a desire for security and safety.
Looking To The Next 5 Years
When asked what their hopes were for the church over the next 5 years, many respondents mentioned the word “growth” in their responses. Growth in discipleship and spirituality, in church member attendance, community engagement, kids and youth work (for younger, older youth) student engagement and deeper connections with one another in church and community.
Respondents also expressed a desire to see the #LoveHoxton project completed and for the church to continue to innovatively care for the community.
Overall the survey showed us that people in Hoxton, and potentially everywhere, are hoping to release a collective sigh of relief. A lot of respondents expressed how they are hoping to regain a sense of “community spirit” as we emerge from the pandemic and do things like we did before. Overall respondents are generally keen to get on with life, at church and in our neighbourhood. We’re praying and hoping for the same.
Thank you again to everyone who responded and distributed a survey during this consultation. It has been a pleasure hearing what you have to say and hope we can continue to transform Hoxton for the better.