Since early 2011, Z/Yen has been working with the Church of England piloting an on-line system for the collection of parish returns. Every parish is required to make statistical and financial returns each year; a significant task for every parish in the land. It is also substantial work for each diocese (as dioceses are responsible for validating the information) and for Church House in London, which is required to pull all the information together. The on-line system, currently being piloted, is designed to make the process of gathering, checking and collating the data much easier.
Actually, the term “piloting” is already somewhat of a misnomer. After an initial small scale trial during 2011 with six dioceses, last year 22 dioceses chose to pilot the system. That represents over half of all dioceses, so in reality the pilot has seamlessly transformed into roll-out.
Over 5,000 parishes fall within the 22 dioceses who used the system last year; over 4,000 parishes submitted some or all of their data using the on-line system. The feedback so far has mostly been very positive. For the coming year, the diocese count rises to 32, covering over 8,700 parishes.
Z/Yen is thrilled to be helping to take the Church forward with this fascinating work. It is a very sizeable example of Z/Yen principles for on-line communities being turned into in action, helping to make one of the UK’s largest civil society organisations more efficient and effective. If you want to know more about this and similar Z/Yen work, please contact Ian Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org.