1 July 2022
Anglicans in Clayton are seeking new ways to engage their community after recent census results revealed a near-doubling of people identifying as Hindu.
The results also showed that most people in the area identified as having no religion.
All Saints Clayton senior minister Reverend Charles Fletcher said the results were a motivation for the congregation to find ways to reach out to those from Hindu and Mandarin speaking backgrounds, as well as those with no religious affiliation.
2021 census statistics showed the number of people who identified as Hindu in the area had nearly doubled, with 2941 declaring it as their religious affiliation, up from 1422 in 2016.
Mr Fletcher said that while All Saints’ congregation was very culturally diverse, it was not necessarily reflective of the statistics in the latest census.
He said while there was a large Indian demographic in the church, most came from areas of India where the Hindu religion was less prevalent.
“Our parish is very multicultural, but the demographic isn’t that representative of the area,” he said.
The census results showed that the largest group in the religion category was “no religion”, followed by Christianity and thirdly, Hinduism.
This showed a further shift from the 2016 results, in which Catholicism was second after “no religion”.
Mr Fletcher said the results also encouraged the church leaders to consider whether their current vision and goals were still relevant to reaching the demographic of the community.