Through research and testing resources, the Church of England is discovering how repeated invitation really encourages people to come back to church.

The best news in the research is that families want and expect churches to keep in touch with them. The following occasions are special events which offer the perfect opportunity to invite and welcome families back.

  • Life Events during the Covid-19 crisis

    During these very uncertain times, those who have already booked a baptism or wedding this year will have many questions about what will happen. And funerals will be very much an ongoing part of ministry in your community. This page offers advice and more to help you respond.

  • Godparents’ Sunday 2021

    Godparents’ Sunday is a response to research undertaken on behalf of the Archbishops’ Council looking at parents’ real experiences and expectations around the baptism of their child.

  • Summer

    From fetes to flower festivals, holiday clubs and church picnics, summer offers so many opportunities to keep in touch with contacts. Here you’ll find easy ways to welcome wedding couples, families of recently baptized children and those who are bereaved, throughout the the summer months.

  • Back to school

    September is a really significant time for families with children. The very young may be starting nursery, older ones may be starting school or moving up a class. It’s a great opportunity for the church to stay in touch with families who have had children baptized at the church and show continued support as they grow up.

  • National Day of Reflection 2021

    Since the first UK Covid-19 lockdown began in 2020, millions have been bereaved.  The National Day of Reflection, coordinated by the charity Marie Curie and officially supported by the Church of England, will designate a special day to reflect on collective loss and grief. Local churches can also participate. Here’s how.

  • Harvest

    Harvest Festival attracts some of the highest church attendances of the year. It’s another key opportunity to connect again with families who have recently-baptized children, and with the wider community. This page will offer ideas to extend your welcome and plan a service.

  • Hallowe’en (All Hallows’ Eve)

    October 31st has become a significant family celebration. The scary costumes and trick-or-treat are here to stay, but churches can still contact families to offer something supportive for their journey of faith. It’s an opportunity to talk about good and evil and the Christian hope of light in a dark world. Here are some ways to offer a positive message at Hallowe’en.

  • Artificial Poppies used to commemorate Remembrance Day.

    ‘Remembering’ & Remembrance

    All Saints’, All Souls’ and Remembrance Sunday services are all traditionally well attended. With reduced scope for physical gatherings, how can the Church still help people to remember those who have died? This page offers some practical suggestions.

  • Photo of Pudsey Bear kindly supplied by the Derby Telegraph

    BBC Children in Need Appeal

    Every year thousands of children, families, communities and organisations get involved with the BBC’s Children in Need Appeal. Here are some ideas for ministry around the Live Appeal Show, which this year will be Friday, November 13th.

  • Christmas

    Across all our research with those who have encountered church at one of life’s key moments, there is a consistently positive desire to hear from us again.  One of the best moments to be in contact with people is around Christmas.  It is the most likely time when people will want to return and a focused invitation linking to their situation can make a difference. The ideas below might help to target that invitation.

  • In case you missed it

    If you were at our 2018 baptism conference, you will know what a great time we had, and if you missed it, or some of it, here’s an overview with some downloads to help you follow up with families after baptism.

  • Christmas 2020

    We know Christmas this year is going to be different – and different can be very special. There will be opportunities for new memories to be made and creative opportunities in our communities to make and build relationships Here are some practical ideas from several different churches for you to use and adapt for your church. Share with other colleagues across the country on these pages too.

  • Love Heart sweets strewn on a pink background

    Valentine’s Day

    Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to talk about love, not just romantic love, but also the great love God has for everyone. Browse this occasion page for ready-made resources and ideas to help you keep in touch with couples and families.

  • Easter

    Easter is perhaps the church’s greatest opportunity to speak with confidence about the saving power of Jesus Christ. We know that those who have already had contact with the church through their own special occasion are happy to hear from us again. Targeted invitations and ideas for welcoming them into church over Holy Week can help us explain the life-changing meaning of Easter to even more people.

  • Mothering Sunday

    Cards and gifts go on sale for Mother’s Day well in advance. Hotels, restaurants and cafes promote their special menus. The mood is one of celebrating and treating generations of mothers, but the day itself can bring a mix of emotions. Whether it’s joyful, complicated or filled with sadness, Mother’s Day – and getting ready for it – is a big day for families, so get in touch to let them know the local church is there for them in good times and difficult times. Here are some ideas to help.