Bethany Baptist Church is located in Richmond, BC which is a member municipality of Metro-Vancouver, Canada. The location of the church is at one end of the city of Richmond, but sitting almost on the boundary line of two other cities, and just off two different bridges that lead to four other cities within minutes. Describing, then, the demographics that make up our church provides quite a challenge.
Because the church is located in the City of Richmond, that puts us under their jurisdiction, it is who we pay taxed to, etc. Therefore, it is that city for which I will describe the demographics. Most of the people who attend the church from other cities have spread out over the years are connected historically. That will become evident in the next section on the demographics of the church
A census in 2011 put the population of Richmond at 190,473. A census in 2016 put the population of Richmond at 198,309. That is growth of 4.1% in 5 years.
According to the 2016 census, 60% of the population of Richmond are immigrants, which is the highest proportion in all of Canada.
Again, the information comes from Stats Canada from the 2016 Census. The median income per person, of 161,835 people earning income, was $25,482 per year. The average private household income, of 73,460 households, was $83,850 per year.
As of March 2020, another source puts the average household income at $77,881.00.
The median price of houses in Richmond as of August 2016 was $998,000 The median price of an apartment in Richmond at the same time was $479,444.
As of March 17, 2020, the media price of a house in Richmone is $975,000, and the average price is $1,369,471.
According to the Cityof Richmond and Stats Canada, "Richmond boasts a great diversity of backgrounds: over 150 different ethnic origins with at least 25 residents were reported." The founding cultures of Richmond were First Nations, British European, Japanese, & Chinese.
|Ethnic Origin||2016 Census|
In our immediate area, there are two elementary schools and one middle school. Hamilton Elementary goes to grade 7, is in our immediate community and considered in the city of Richmond. Another very close elementary school is Queen Elizabeth Elementary, but is considered to be in the city of New Westminster. This only goes to grade 4. New West also has a middle school which operates as grade 5 through 8. Even though this is considered a different city, it is extremely close to the church and we have lots of attendees from this community that is immediately beside ours. We also have homeschool families, and students from various schools from the cities across the bridges.
Coming back around to the demographics of Richmond, there are several high schools in Richmond, and the kids from the community of Hamilton, where the church is located, are all bussed to Matthew McNair Secondary. Other schools attended by our high school students include: Richmond Secondary (Richmond) Richmond Christian (Richmond) Delview Secondary (Delta) Vancouver College (Vancouver) Panorama Ridge Secondary (Surrey) McRoberts Secondary (Richmond) Johnston Heights Secondary (Surrey) Pacific Academy (Surrey) Kwantlen Park Secondary (Surrey) New Westminster Secondary (New Westminster) Queensborough Middle (New Westminster) Burnsview Secondary (Delta) Sands Secondary (Delta)
Our regular attendance is around 20 kids from Grade 8-12, so you can see that over half go to completely different high schools. They come on Friday nights to completely new and different friend groups than at school. If two kids go to the same school, it is usually because they are siblings.
There are also several options for post-secondary studies in the Metro-Vancouver area: University of British Columbia Simon Fraser University Trinity Western University BCIT - British Columbia Institute of Technology Kwantlen Polytechnic University Pacific Life Bible College Columbia Bible College Langara College Douglas College Emily Carr University of Art & Design
Agrifoods (Cranberries, blueberries, hay, field vegetables) Aviation (The Vancouver International Airport is actually in Richmond) Filming Health Logistics Manufacturing Retail Technology Tourism
In our immediate community of Hamilton, we are the only church - and very visible. I also belong to something called the Hub. It is a group of Youth Pastors from Richmond that get together and support one another, as well as plan for city-wide youth events about once a month during the school year. This allows students to see the larger church, as well as notice other Christians from their own school perhaps. Some of the other churches are: Richmond Baptist Fraserview MB Peace Mennonite Richmond Pentecostal The Tapestry Richmond Alliance
None of these Churches or Youth Groups are especially large. Some of them are completely Asian and are held in Chinese.
There are many community services & organizations. Recreation and Parks officers community centres, fitness, aquatic centres and pools, parks, park programming, community sports and more. Community services such as Richmond Cards, Richmod Gives, Richmond Multicultural Community Services, Richmond Society for Community Living helps those with special needs, and volunteerism is very strong. There is even a Richmond Community Services Advisory Council that brings together representatives from non-profits and government. Richmond is also rich with museums, heritage sites and theatres, as well as 2010 Winter Olympic Games sites that can be visited.
How this all affects our ministry is a complicated questions with a complicated answer. I think by seeing the above information as the context in which we do ministry would help shape how we do ministry. One thing is for certain, we cannot compete with all that is offered in our metropolotan area. Between sports clubs, school work and school play, arts, entertainment, a never-ending supply of restaurants and other fun things to do, there is no point in trying to "entertain" our youth.
Also, as is evident from the list of schools above and the various cities in which they are located, our church is a "commuter church", not a community church. We need to operate as such, and realize that events that are spontaneous and last minute will not be well-attended. People need to know well in advance of events, and there must be effective and thorough communication.
There are also many opportunities to serve. We have many immigrants in our community. We also have many who are struggling to make ends meet; all you have to do is take a look at the cost of housing to know that.
Sources for the information on this page were retrieved on March 16,2020 & came from: (https://www.richmond.ca/discover/about/demographics.htm)