FSD3506 Parish Elected Officials Survey 2019

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  • Church Research Institute


baptisms, church, climate change, managers, marriage, personnel, refugees, religiosity, religious beliefs, social inequality, voluntary work


The survey was aimed at people in positions of trust in the parishes of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Main themes of the survey included voluntary work in and the culture of the parish, the future of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and current issues in the church, managerial duties and equality in the church, the Marriage Act, climate change, church services, religiosity in everyday life, and utilising research data in parish work.

First, the survey examined parish activities and the role of parishes in Finnish society. The respondents were asked how well several statements described the activities of their parish, for example, whether parish work occurred in different kinds of networks outside the parish (e.g. schools and organisations) and whether the parish paid special attention in the activities to those at risk of exclusion. The role of volunteers and voluntary work in the parish were charted next with statements on, for example, whether the volunteers were independent in innovating and organising parish activities and whether work tasks for volunteers were planned in cooperation with parish employees. Views on the future of the church and current issues were surveyed regarding different ways of managing the deteriorating economy of parishes (e.g. raising the church tax, selling property), where parish resources for helping those in need should be primarily directed (e.g. supporting families in crisis, mitigating poverty, helping the lonely and sick), and whether the church should always offer aid to refugees.

Opinions on managerial duties and equality in the church were examined next with various statements. The statements included, for example, whether the respondents thought more women should be in managerial positions in the church and whether the status of sexual and gender minorities in the church should be improved. The respondents' views on the Marriage Act were surveyed (e.g. whether the church should continue to only officiate opposite-sex marriages or also officiate same-sex marriages), and opinions on the role of the church in mitigating climate change were charted (e.g. whether the church should guide people to change their way of living to be more sustainable). The respondents were also asked about parish services in general and specifically relating to baptism and the role of godparents.

Next, religiosity in the respondents' everyday life was surveyed. The respondents were asked, for example, whether prayers or meditation were a regular part of their life, which books were spiritually most significant for them (excluding holy books of religions), and who were the most significant spiritual influencers for them. Finally, the respondents were asked about utilising research data in their work as elected officials in the parish (e.g. where they found research data on the church, whether they actively searched for it, and what types of analysis and reports they thought they needed for their work in the church).

The background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, how long R had worked as an elected official in the parish, number of persons in the parish, diocese, type of municipality (urban or rural), political party R had voted for in the 2019 parliamentary elections, and whether R belonged to a revivalist movement or a Christian organisation.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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