‘In a town of 10,000 people, you may have a congregation of 70,’ says the Revd Canon Mike Booker, the Bishop’s Change Officer for Market Towns. ‘That doesn’t look too bad until you think about it as a percentage of the population. Then it’s serious.
‘We are not having the impact that we are in Cambridge, or the countryside,’ he says.
It’s hoped that new staff – many of them lay people – will provide the answer to the problem, working with locals in new and fresh ways.
So far, 12 people have been appointed: educationalists, youth and children’s workers and those involved in church planting.