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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All Saints’, All Souls’ and Remembrance Sunday are all services which are often well attended, and many people may only come to church for these occasions. This page offers suggestions for reaching more people at this moving time of year.
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.
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.
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.
This is a great opportunity to invite baptism families to come along with godparents to a special service, and to involve all those in the congregation who are godparents or godchildren too. Find resources here to help.