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Survey of Episcopal Church lay employees underway


Questionnaire part of unprecedented study.

A survey of lay employees, the latest phase of the first comprehensive research study of Episcopal Church lay employees undertaken by the Church Pension Group (CPG), is now underway.

The study of lay employees, a historically overlooked group, was authorized by the 75th General Convention through Resolution A125. The resolution asked for the study as part of the church’s effort to “make the Episcopal Church a fair and just workplace.”

Lay employee census forms were sent to every Episcopal congregation in the U.S. as well as Episcopal dioceses and institutions beginning last February. The census asked employers to provide lay employee demographics such as year of hire, date of birth, gender, preferred language, and marital status; where and how lay employees serve; number of hours worked; and compensation ranges and benefits. CPG expresses its appreciation to the many congregations, dioceses, and institutions that completed the online and paper census forms.

Having identified the lay employee population, CPG then selected the Gallup Organization to conduct a survey of all lay employees for whom CPG has names. That survey is now underway.

The lay employee survey can be taken online or on paper. The questionnaires, with instructions on both options, were recently mailed. The survey aims to gather data such as family status, household income, overall financial situation, working conditions, previous work experience, and much more. Online and printed survey materials are being provided in both English and Spanish.

Overseas Episcopal dioceses will participate in the data-gathering later this summer; both English and Spanish versions will be provided, with French and other language options available by telephone upon request.

Data gathered from the lay employee census and survey will support the work of the Task Force on Employment Policies and Practices in the Episcopal Church. It will also support the Episcopal Church’s Office for Ministry Development in its leadership role in regard to the feasibility study on lay employee pension benefits described in Resolution A125.


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