THE Methodist Church has singled out immigration of members, new churches and non-listing of members as reasons for its dwindling membership.
It was revealed at the Methodist Chrurch Conference last week that church membership had dropped by 4658 since 2011 — from 201,884 to 197,226 this year.
In an interview with The Fiji Times, church general secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra said a possible reason for this was that some circuits were not listing their older members to lower costs.
"The difficulty of having a levy system is that the more numbers you have, the more money you will demand from a circuit or a church," Mr Nawadra said.
"So some people have been saying that maybe some of our circuits do not list the older generations who have no sources of income. That has to be proven but this has come out as one of the reasons," he said.
"So the inability for this group to pay has led to them being left off the roll of certain churches or circuits," he added.
Mr Nawadra said the appearance of other churches had caused some of the Methodist Church members to move.
"Quite a few have moved on to another church because they have been saying that they have found meaning in what they are doing in the other sectors and church groups and that's part and parcel of the journey that we have," he said.
Mr Nawadra said that migration of church members was another reason for the decline in numbers.
However, he said that those overseas had come of their own accord to contribute back to the church.
"Those who have left are still able to contribute and it's not just us, it's them that are saying that yes, we have left Fiji but we will continue to help you," he said.