Question

Church membership and attendance is declining in established churches in the UK. Figures from the recent census shows the proportion of people calling themselves Christian fell from 72% in 2001 to 59% in 2011. In percentage terms, the numbers of Christians fell by12.4% (Office for National Statistics, 2012). More recently, published figures from the Church of England 2015 attendance statistics show that just under 1 million people attend services each week. According to the results of a recent survey, an average of 960,000people attend church services each week (85% adults, 15% children under 16). Overall,figures represent a decline in attendance of 11% over the past decade with an average decrease of just over 1% a year (Church of England Research and Statistics, 2016). The pastor of a local parish wants to investigate the reasons behind the decline in church attendance. He also wants to find out what measures could be put in place in order to retain members and attract new ones. He has decided to commission a market research study. a) Which qualitative method(s) should be used and why? Discuss the techniques you would choose and explain their advantages and potential drawbacks in detail. b) What possible questions could be asked?

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