Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Norwich diocese looking for growth

[...] The Rev Jan McFarlane, spokesman for the Diocese of Norwich, said the Church of England was on the cusp of a revival fuelled by its overhaul of how it made traditional Christian beliefs chime with a modern audience.

She described church attendance figures across the diocese, which covers most of Norfolk and Waveney, as "steady" and she was encouraged by the new survey's findings that about three million people said they would attend church if they were given the "right invitation".

She said: "In the last couple of years, the church has faced up to the fact that it is not enough for us just to expect people to turn up.

"We have realised the need to make our services much more relevant to people with no church background who realise there is more to life than consumerism."

She said today's C of E was much less intimidating, adding that it had changed its services to "common worship", with less archaic language, that delivered a message more in tune with the modern world, and started setting up informal Bible discussion groups in places such as pubs or after- school clubs.

The church is also trying to recapture people put off by traditional stuffiness, with its initiative "back to church Sunday" whereby congregation members encourage lapsed Christians to return to the church. Read more

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