C of E to lure lapsed worshippers with free chocolate

By staff writers
September 19, 2006

C of E to lure lapsed worshippers with free chocolate

-19/09/06

Churches are offering sweet temptation for returning worshippers, by giving out free chocolate in the hope it will lure them back into the pews.

The fairtrade chocolate will be given out as part of 'Back to Church Sunday' - the latest attempt by the Church of England to halt the long-term decline in its numbers.

Hundreds of churches across the Dioceses of Derby, Ripon and Leeds, Manchester, Wakefield, Oxford, Guildford and individual churches around the country have already taken delivery of their 'Back to Church Box'.

Resources include invitations, posters and banners bearing the love-heart logo and the message ëwish you were hereí.

Churchgoers are asked to use the resources to advertise the day and invite family and friends who have lost touch with church.

Gifts for newcomers include a 'goody bag' with brochures featuring different aspects of church life ñ and a free bar of Traidcraft fair trade chocolate.

Researchers at the University of Staffordshire will measure the responses from people returning to churches and try to build up a picture of how and why people reconnect with church after a time away.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer said: ìPeople lose touch with church for all sorts of reasons. But we know some are looking for a way back to church and a personal invitation can make all the difference.î

Peter Collins, Traidcraftís head of church relations said: ìPeople in churches have been at the forefront of Traidcraftís work around the world for years: helping people to help themselves. So it is with this gift of chocolate - itís a gift that makes a difference for good.î

Back to Church Sunday was first trialled in the Diocese of Manchester in 2004, when more than 900 people came back to church. In 2005, the Diocese of Wakefield joined in with similar results.

Traidcraft was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty. It works with people of all faiths by trading with them directly, supporting them with training and information, and by influencing policy makers to pull down the barriers which stop the poor enjoying their fair share of world trade.

Back to Church Sunday takes place on 24th September 2006.

C of E to lure lapsed worshippers with free chocolate

-19/09/06

Churches are offering sweet temptation for returning worshippers, by giving out free chocolate in the hope it will lure them back into the pews.

The fairtrade chocolate will be given out as part of 'Back to Church Sunday' - the latest attempt by the Church of England to halt the long-term decline in its numbers.

Hundreds of churches across the Dioceses of Derby, Ripon and Leeds, Manchester, Wakefield, Oxford, Guildford and individual churches around the country have already taken delivery of their 'Back to Church Box'.

Resources include invitations, posters and banners bearing the love-heart logo and the message ëwish you were hereí.

Churchgoers are asked to use the resources to advertise the day and invite family and friends who have lost touch with church.

Gifts for newcomers include a 'goody bag' with brochures featuring different aspects of church life ñ and a free bar of Traidcraft fair trade chocolate.

Researchers at the University of Staffordshire will measure the responses from people returning to churches and try to build up a picture of how and why people reconnect with church after a time away.

The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer said: ìPeople lose touch with church for all sorts of reasons. But we know some are looking for a way back to church and a personal invitation can make all the difference.î

Peter Collins, Traidcraftís head of church relations said: ìPeople in churches have been at the forefront of Traidcraftís work around the world for years: helping people to help themselves. So it is with this gift of chocolate - itís a gift that makes a difference for good.î

Back to Church Sunday was first trialled in the Diocese of Manchester in 2004, when more than 900 people came back to church. In 2005, the Diocese of Wakefield joined in with similar results.

Traidcraft was established in 1979 as a Christian response to poverty. It works with people of all faiths by trading with them directly, supporting them with training and information, and by influencing policy makers to pull down the barriers which stop the poor enjoying their fair share of world trade.

Back to Church Sunday takes place on 24th September 2006.

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