We need you!

 4 July 2020 |

Just as shops, pubs and hairdressers are opening up, there are calls for the church to open its doors too. In fact, the government has already given permission for some to allow private prayer and others to carefully make church buildings available once again. It’s not an easy task; many members of congregations are vulnerable and the restrictions that are imposed to allow us to open are very…well, restrictive. So, for a while still, we are keeping our doors closed while busilyworking on risk assessments and making what are mostly older buildings ready for the rush.

Over these past months, however, churches have experimented with all sorts of inventive ways to bring services into homes. Members have been worshipping through technology and this has attracted a lot of sympathetic views from people who have not recently attended church. It’s a new beginning for many churches but is it where we want to be in future? We mustn’t forget our buildings are a great resource for the community and all kinds of groups use them as their base. As numbers of worshippers have dropped over the years, churches have turned to all sorts of techniques to attract new members but overall, the church in the UK has continued to decline.

Why has it taken a national emergency to make the churches find new ways to be relevant? There is evidence that people of all ages are finding 2020 a time of heightened anxiety, loneliness and damaging of some community life. People have begun to understand their lives are not just shopping and spending money, even if there was plenty around; retail therapy still leaves gaps in our lives. They’ve been turning to places of quiet contemplation, to give their lives significance and a sense of direction. No matter what your background, thevision is to welcome everyone to church; we know we have not always been good at living out that vision. You may wish to attend on line or, when we are open again, in person. Whatever it is, we want your help in making meaningful changes to the way we do things and help us to be more relevant to you and the communities around us.