Original Research

The science of congregation studies and psychographic segmentation: O come all ye thinking types?

Leslie J. Francis, Susan H. Jones, Ursula McKenna
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6747 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6747 | © 2021 Leslie J. Francis, Susan H. Jones, Ursula McKenna | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 April 2021 | Published: 01 September 2021

About the author(s)

Leslie J. Francis, CEDAR, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK; Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Susan H. Jones, Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, UK; Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Ursula McKenna, Department of Theology, Bishop Grossesteste University, Lincoln, UK; Department of New Testament Studies and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Previous research employing Jungian psychological type theory has both demonstrated that Church of England inherited congregations have problems engaging thinking types and suggested that fresh expressions of church have failed to address that problem. Three previous studies, however, have reported higher proportions of thinking types attending cathedral carol services. The present study was designed to check that finding on a larger sample. The Francis Psychological Type Scales were completed by 941 participants at the afternoon Carol Services held in Liverpool Cathedral on Christmas Eve 2019, and the data compared with the profile of 3304 participants within 140 inherited congregations. The present study also found a higher proportion of thinking types among the participants at these carol services. These findings suggest that cathedral carol services may be functioning as fresh expressions of church in a significant way. Further research is needed to explore whether other cathedral services may function in similar ways.

Contribution: Situated within the science of congregation studies, rooted in psychological type theory and drawing on data from 941 participants at the afternoon Carol Services held in Liverpool Cathedral on Christmas Eve 2019, this study confirms that cathedral carol services at Christmas are more successful than either inherited church or fresh expressions of church in reaching thinking types.


Keywords

congregation studies; cathedral studies; psychological type theory; fresh expressions; carol services; Christmas

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