Rotherham is bottom of the league for church
attendance in the United Kingdom, yet I can confirm the truth of what
Peter Brierley (April 12) says about the importance of occasional
offices. A few years ago we did a survey and found that one-third of
our regular congregation first started coming to church through
baptisms, weddings and funerals over a 25 year period.
More recently we have found perhaps
10 per cent of those who come for baptism of their children come to
faith and church involvement. We ask everyone first to come to a
Thanksgiving Service which includes giving them the Gospel and urging
them to read it. We have found the Jesus magazine particularly
good. It is in magazine format and includes Luke’s gospel, life
stories and historical information. It is produced jointly by Deo
Gloria Trust, Jesus Video Project, CPAS, New Start and the Open Book.
Of course, this has to be accompanied by a church
that welcomes newcomers, including children. All this has contributed
to a church growth of some 40 per cent during the 1990s.
The Rev Patrick Coghlan
St James’ Church and Stepping Stones, Anston