Church Attendance in Pandemic Times

You may be wondering: how does live stream attendance from the past year compare with Derry’s in-person church attendance? In pre-pandemic times, ushers counted everyone sitting in the Chapel and Sanctuary and the number was recorded in a notebook. Each year, those numbers were added up, giving us an average in-person attendance figure for the year. In 2019, that number was 321.

In 2020 we had live streaming numbers that Sue George records on a spreadsheet each week. Pre-pandemic, our Sunday live stream averaged 35 IP addresses. From March-Dec 2020, live stream attendance averaged 270, and so far this year we’re at 280 across all three platforms people use to join us on Sunday mornings (our website, YouTube and Facebook).

Each IP address represents a single computer, TV or mobile device. In many homes more than one person is watching, so for actual attendance, it’s realistic to estimate 1.5 to 2 times 280, giving Derry a range of 420-560 viewers each week who attend from a dozen states.

When the adult Issues Class met in person, the class averaged 10-15 participants. On Zoom, the class averages 30 participants with many more watching afterwards.

In children’s programming, Derry Church welcomed on average 20 children in person ages 4-grade 5. On Zoom we’re seeing 25 participants at church school and fellowship opportunities. 

Youth fellowship often saw 15-20 in-person participants and now 12-15 youth are joining virtually. This group spends the most time staring at screens during the week, so we’re not surprised to see that they want a break on the weekends.

Derry Church continues to attract new members, with 10 people joining last November and eight in the current class that will be received on March 14. Some new members have not yet been inside the church building.