24 August 2012
There are only seven days left to sign up for Back to Church
Sunday. And churchgoers who have made new friends through local
events for the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Games now have a
chance to invite them back.
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, who
penned sermon resources for churches taking part on Sunday,
September 30, said:
"Thousands of people used the Church of England's online guides
for the Games and Jubilee, and in so doing made new friends in
their area. Now we're at the end of a summer of invitation, why let
it stop here? There are three simple ways to invite friends old and
new on Back to Church Sunday."
1. It's free to sign up, and churches need to register by
Friday, August 31. There are invitation cards to help everyone
invite a friend. For a typically sized church the pack costs £10.
All the materials are fairly traded and supported by sponsors
2. Registration means a church can take advantage of free resources including service ideas for
adults and children. There are also videos to inspire inviters
and logos and supporting art work to get the word out in the
3. The Church Times is supporting the day for the first
time with a specially commissioned giveaway section filled with
stories and cartoons to intrigue and welcome the newcomer. They can
be ordered (50p each) by calling Ruth Hunter on 01603 785 911 or
Meanwhile in the Church of England Dioceses of Canterbury,
Lichfield and Newcastle, and in the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Middlesbrough, Back to Church Sunday 2012 will 'run and run'. A new
season of invitation will test seven invitational moments from
Harvest in October 2012 to Valentines in February 2013. Organisers
will measure the response to the pilot series before deciding
whether to roll out the idea nationally in 2013.
Since the first Back to Church Sunday in the Church of England
diocese of Manchester in 2004, about 230,000 people have come back
to church through the prayerful invitation of a friend.
For more about the Pilot Series click here.
Special Church of England website sections resourcing churches
to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games jointly
attracted over 130,000 page views.