Inspiring Back to Church Sunday stories from across the Diocese.
Churches across the Diocese have reported great success with this year’s back to Church Sunday.
Hollinfare St Helen - made a special effort to invite people back, resulting in 67 people in church (44 adults, 23 under 16) when the church’s average attendance during the past year was 27.
The church invited families who have had christenings at the church during the past year and arranged for the school choir to sing at the service. The day was so successful that parishioners have asked that the church holds their own Back to Church Sunday more than once a year.
All Saints Liverpool - created special posters to invite people back, using their prominent positions on Sheil Road and Wavertree Road to their advantage. Jim Huthwaite from All Saints said, "The primary role of our Road Signs is not to try and get people into church (except on Back to Church Sunday) or to batter them with Bible texts. We try to think up slogans to challenge the ordinary passer-by about God and their relationship to Him, and we feel it is a useful way to communicate with people who never come near a church."
St Andrew’s Wigan - welcomed 158 adults and 25 children to two Sunday services, when the usual Sunday service welcomes 90 adults (taking both morning services up between 50% and 60%) 15 people also came along who had no previous connection at all to the church.
Rev Colin Hurst said that inviting people back to church on one particular day also gave a good indication of the number of people who attend St. Andrew's up to once a month but on different Sundays.
He said, “I'd been urging people for several weeks to make a special effort to come on BTCS Sunday, whether or not they invited anybody. We used the BTCS resources as much as we could, plus we made and gave out some of our own invitations. One of our members had a banner made for outside the church to advertise the day. The preparations paid off. There were lots of very favourable comments about the worship. The larger congregations certainly made a huge difference in lots of ways, giving everyone a more positive feeling about St. Andrew's in difficult times.”
He added, “We did BTCS for the first time last year, very tentatively, because we don't normally go in for 'this kind of thing'. The result last year reflected our hesitation. We put much more into it this year which was reflected in the result. Now that we all have more confidence and are thrilled by the result of this year, I'm sure we'll be even more enthusiastic for it in 2013.”