An extra special welcome is being offered this Sunday (30 September) at All Saints and St Michael’s church in Marden for people who have not been to church recently and for those who have never been to church. The church is one of thousands across the country welcoming people to church as part of a national initiative called ‘Back to Church Sunday’.
All Saints and St Michael’s Vicar, Revd Ali Duguid, commented: “Back to Church Sunday’ is a wonderful initiative to truly welcome people who, for a variety of reasons, might have let their Church attendance slip over the years.” Revd Duguid continued: “Coming to church can often mean overcoming a fear of walking through the door, but on Sunday morning we will celebrate a Family Holy Communion with particular joy and we are confident that new people joining us will receive a very warm welcome.”
Mrs Vanessa Davies was invited to Marden church last year on Back to Church Sunday. Having recently moved into rented accommodation in the village, Mrs Davies felt too shy to attend church until invited: “Last September, a card arrived from our new neighbour and friend, Judy Noakes, inviting us personally to go to the ‘Back to Church Sunday’ service with her. We had wanted to attend the church and this provided the impetus and encouragement we needed. We were much keener to go when we knew we would be expected and welcomed.” Since then, the family has continued to attend services and even joined the choir and youth group. Vanessa declared: “The whole experience was a very helpful and positive one and significantly sped up our ‘feeling of belonging’ in Marden.”
Mrs Judy Noakes, who was inspired by the ‘Back to Church Sunday’ initiative to invite Mrs Davies and her family, said: “Inviting them really was really very simple and I am so glad that I did, especially as they have now decided that they like Marden so much they have bought a house here and are going to make it their permanent home!”
The Back to Church Sunday service at Marden Church starts at 10.30am. The service coincides with a weekend of Patronal celebrations which includes a ‘Festival of Talents’ on Saturday from 10am-4pm and on Sunday afternoon from 12 noon to 4pm, which includes displays and refreshments in the church. All are welcome.
Further information is available from: www.mardenchurch.org.ukEnds
Further information from:
Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Diocese of Canterbury: 01227 459 401, 07876 210 446
Notes for editors
‘Back to Church Sunday’ started in the Anglican Diocese of Manchester in 2004 and has now become an ecumenical, international event. The event follows the simple idea of extending a personal invitation back to church on a particular Sunday. Over 220 Church of England parishes are taking part in Kent on September 30th along with many churches from other denominations. http://www.backtochurch.co.uk/