September 29, 2008

Anglicans boost attendance with special invites

by David Masters

The Church of England welcomed thousands of newcomers through its doors yesterday as part of the fourth consecutive Back to Church Sunday.

After months of preparation, the Church aimed for 30,000 extra people to sit down on pews in the 3,000 churches taking part in the initiative.

Over the last few weeks, thousands of no strings attached invitations were given out to local communities within church parishes, whilst clergy made a special effort to invite former churchgoers who have been away for some time.

Around 1.2 million Brits go to church every week in the UK – significantly lower than the attendance of three decades ago.

The Prayer Book Society believes that this is because of the modernisation of services during the 1980s and 1990s, and wants to see the traditional 1662 Prayer Book use more often in Anglican services.

However, a recent opinion poll found a different story.

Three million people said they would attend church regularly if they were ‘given the right invitation’.

Archdeacon of Walsall Bob Jackson said the problem for most people is that they’d like to go to church, but it’s nerve-racking unless you already know someone there who invites you along.

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