Great question for our church, and for churches in general. Some business analysts down in Sydney have been doing a big study looking at the state of the Anglican church down there, and there is a write up/analysis of some of the findings at the new Briefing Website.
The first finding that caught my eye was:
The high degree of social mobility in our cities makes the environment even more tricky for Sydney Anglicans—and indeed for all churches. Nearly 40% of our congregations will leave every five years, simply because they have moved house.
This is certainly our experience in Clayfield. And as the study points out, while you do also get the corresponding 40% who move into your area, it has quite a destabilising effect on the congregation.
Don’t think there are any easy answers, although encouraging people to stay put for the sake of the Gospel is definitely something that needs to be done more.