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FSD2029 Parish Employee Survey 2002

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Authors

  • Church Research Institute

Keywords

Bible, attitudes, church employees, employees, parishes, religious behaviour, religious beliefs, religious personnel, values, working conditions

Abstract

The church employee survey studied the values, attitudes and religious beliefs of persons employed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Respondents rated how important work, friends, religion, politics etc. are to them. Spare time religious attendance, and frequency of other religious-minded spare time activities (e.g. praying, reading the Bible or religious literature, viewing religious TV programmes) were charted.

Some questions covered respondents' religious beliefs. Belief in God, importance of God for respondents, and religious community background were surveyed. Some questions focused on to what extent respondents believe church and Bible doctrines, like the existence of angels and the resurrection of Christ. Faith in afterlife and attitudes towards the Bible were examined. Respondents were asked whether there was any conflict between church doctrine and what they themselves think or believe in. They were also asked whether faith/religion gives them strength, and whether the Bible or the Evangelical Lutheran Church provide help in moral issues, family problems, spiritual needs, social problems or the meaning of life.

One theme pertained to opinions on parochial councils and parish boards. Views were probed on whether certain groups have too much or too little power in parish administration, and whether the powers of the council or the board should be increased. Respondents were also asked who should choose the vicar - the parochial council or the parishioners.

The survey carried a set of statements with which respondents assessed their own values and characteristics (e.g. "I often do something just to prove myself I can do it" or "I like competitive situations"). Job satisfaction, work load, and intentions to leave the parish job were investigated. Some questions charted social and other problems in the respondent's parish. Respondents also evaluated how the situation of certain groups will develop in their parish in future (e.g. children, youth, single parents, the elderly, families with children).

Background variables included respondent's gender, job title, size and type of parish, diocese, how long the respondent had worked for a parish or the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and which party he/she had voted for in the last parliamentary elections.

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