Just under four hundred people attend morning worship at Bloomfield on a Sunday. In the evening it’s around the one hundred mark. Membership peaked in the sixties when lots of new houses were built in the Orangefield area but during the seventies, eighties and nineties the age profile of the congregation increased and numbers started to dwindle.
For about the past ten years or more that trend has significantly reversed and many new members and families have joined. The age profile has dropped and we’ve significantly developed our youth and children’s work. KidZone, Merge and Submerge have also opened up the opportunity of reaching out to the community with many ‘non church’ kids coming along. Some of these children have migrated into other organisations and – perhaps surprisingly in an age where youth organizations struggle to get young people through the door – many teenagers have found a home in the Boys’ Brigade.
For many years girls greatly outnumbered boys at Bloomfield, some eighty percent of baptisms were girls. That trend is now reversing: two years ago the Junior Section had no boys at all and now it has over thirty, whereas the Brownies were able to operate two packs of twenty four but have now had to merge into a single unit.
An illustration of the growing numbers of adult members is that in each of the last two years we have had approximately thirty new communicant members (this is where a person makes a public declaration of their faith and commits to taking communion regularly). In our most recent enrolment, twenty nine new members were added to our church. Of these, just six were people who were transferring from other congregations. All but a handful were over the age of forty and more than half were under the age of twenty five.