Church Services: Attendance:Written question - 240955

Q
(South Holland and The Deepings)
Asked on: 04 April 2019
Church Commissioners
Church Services: Attendance
Commons
To ask the right hon. Member for Meriden, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps the Church is taking to increase attendance at church services.
A
Answered by: Dame Caroline Spelman
Answered on: 08 April 2019

Strategic Development Funding has been made available to develop the capacity of Church of England dioceses to increase church attendance. 2017 a total of £44million was awarded to 27 projects in 20 dioceses. In 2018, £61.6 million was awarded to 20 new projects in 20 dioceses. One third of these new initiatives focus on work with children and young people, and the majority are located in deprived areas.

In 2018 the Church of England formed an Evangelism and Discipleship Department, based at Church House, Westminster, to enable a strategic national approach by developing specific interventions and resources to enable and equip its million regular worshippers to be able to talk about and live out their faith. This supplements work at a Diocesan level to develop more growing churches: https://www.churchofengland.org/more/church-resources/evangelism-and-discipleship

The Church of England is developing 1,000 new evangelists in the over the next five years. Other measures include working with a number of dioceses around a Culture of Invitation to help parishioners to invite people to their church ( http://www.cultureofinvitation.com/ ), helping churches to ensure that those coming for baptisms, funerals and weddings are welcomed and invited to continue attending their local church (https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/christenings ), and the Talking Jesus Course, which is a simple 6 week video-based course to inspire ordinary Christians to share their faith in natural and relevant ways: https://talkingjesus.org/

Seven million people engaged with the Church of England via digital media channels last Christmas through the ‘Follow the Star campaign’. Two million used it to identify a church to attend through the resource www.achurchnearyou.com The Church’s use of digital and social media has won awards for innovation, and there are now worship and liturgy resources available via Alexa and a variety of Apps.

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