Everything you need to know about parish returns for mission and finance
When can we enter our mission data?
You are able enter data in the online returns as often as you wish. We therefore strongly recommend that churches complete their data as they go during the year – Easter attendance, Electoral Roll, October count and finally Advent/Christmas.

The deadline for full completing and submission is generally 31 January of the next year. For the 2023 Statistics for Mission return the national deadline is 31 January 2024.

Do we have to answer all the questions?
All of the questions are being asked for a specific and important reason. However, we also recognise that some of the data being requested is not always collected by churches or felt to be very difficult to assess.
This query often relates specifically to Field 9 – How has your worshipping community changed? If you feel unable to complete this field, please leave it blank and move on to the next question.
What if we don't have the information being requested?
The online system allows users the option of entering “unknown” and we recommend you enter this rather than leave a cell blank as that will allow for a 100% submission. Please do not insert a 0 where the answer is unknown as that will reduce the value of the data.
Where do I go if I get stuck?
You can contact the Diocesan Parish Returns helpdesk by email or telephone. Ring 01865 208 200 and ask for help with your Parish Returns.
Are there different deadlines for Electoral Roll returns?
Yes. You are required to complete the Electoral Roll return by the end of May following APCMs. The online form for 2024 will be open after Easter 2024 for the entry of Electoral Roll figures.
What if we notice previous data entries are missing or incorrect?
If you have noticed that Statistics for Mission (attendance and participation) information for previous years is incorrect or missing for your church, it is quite straightforward to amend this information by completing a Statistics for Mission correction form.
If you wish to amend your church’s information for several years, please complete a separate form for each year.
We don't have anyone in our church who feels confident enough to complete this on-line. What can we do?
Option 1: Print off a paper copy of the form and complete it. Then telephone the Diocesan Parish Returns helpdesk on 01865 2082 00 and someone will help talk you through completing the form online.
Option 2: Print off a paper copy of the form and complete it. Then post it to Parish Returns, Dept of Mission and Ministry, Church House Oxford, Langford Locks, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GF
Can I just send in the PCC accounts?
For the Returns for Finance, churches are asked to use a standard format so that staff centrally can process the information more efficiently and at a lower cost.
The finance forms are designed to be consistent with the Charities Act 1993 and the PCC 3rd edition 2006. This return for National Church is in addition to your requirement to submit PCC accounts to the Diocese.
Is the information confidential?
The Church of England nationally treats the information submitted by parishes as confidential. Figures are only published on a diocesan basis and no other Diocese can access your data. In terms of Finance, any member of the public has the right to ask the PCC for a copy of its annual accounts.
Increasingly the Statistics for Mission data is accessed and used by the diocese, area bishops, archdeacons, area deans, lay chairs and deanery treasurers for mission and ministry planning.
I'm getting a 'Username and password do not match or you do not have an account yet' message
The error message you are seeing is displayed where there has been an attempt to login with a username and password that does not match any record held in the system. This can occur when either the username and/or password have been typed incorrectly or an account does not yet exist.
Experience has shown that this initially occurs where an attempt to login has been made using the Parish Code and Password supplied by the diocesan office, rather than after an account has been created.
See section 3 of the User Guide – Accessing the system for the first time – where you will note that you initially need to create an account for yourself, using the Parish Code and Password supplied by your diocesan office.
I want to put in the financial numbers and leave someone else to put in the other information. Is this possible?
Yes it is. See section 6 of the User Guide – entering information.
However if the other person does not currently have access to the system also see section 4 – setting up other users.
How do I register with an additional parish?
See section 2 – information for system administrators.
By way of the Users Menu tab, click on Add Parishes to Your Account and then enter the Parish Code and Password supplied by your diocesan office, before clicking Submit.
Where can I find out more regarding fresh expressions?
Where or how do I indicate if any of my attendance figures are unusual for any reason?
Indicate any unusual figures by using the free text box at the bottom of page 3 of the Statistics for Mission form, headed ‘Please use the box below to note whether there are any reasons for an unusual attendance on any of the Sundays in October, such as half term or Harvest.’
Can I submit data for previous years?
Yes you can, if you'd like to do so. Find the form for the relevant year in the document library and email it to the parish returns team.
Where can I find the Help text?
See section 6 – entering information onto the online forms.
To summarise, 'Throughout the forms you will find symbols. If you click your pointer on the symbol qa ‘help box’ will appear to guide you.'
Page last updated: Wednesday 3rd January 2024 11:34 AM
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