Saturday, June 08, 2013

And Now the Good News

News from St. Pauls:

Capital Vision 2020 has the goal of creating or renewing a hundred worshipping communities and doubling the number of young people involved in local Christian community in London.

Bishop Richard Chartres quipped that he was constantly told by the media he must be very depressed because of dwindling church numbers. However, he said the opposite was true.

"How can we get the message through that the reality is quite different?" he said.

He quoted figures from a new report due to be published by the diocese stating that there are now 1,000 projects being run by Anglican churches across the capital, benefitting 200,000 people, and supported by 10,000 volunteers. According to the report, £17 million has been raised by churches to meet social needs in their areas.

and it's not just London:
  •      A Church Army study of Fresh Expressions of church covering 6 dioceses in detail so far, has identified discovered 360 newly planted churches. They make up 10% of diocesan membership, and roughly 75% of members are people who had previously dropped out of church, or who had never been involved and had no Christian background.
  •       Prior to his consecration, Justin Welby did a prayer pilgrimage to 6 cathedrals. Expected turnout to pray with him was 3-400, actual turnout was 2-3000, and several people became Christians at those events.
  •       Exeter Diocese set a target for growing its church membership in 2009, which was met with a mixed reaction at the time. It's since grown by 11%, 2nd best in the CofE. Using money from Exeters mission fund, a church in one rural village (pop 200) established a new all-age service, and now has 10 new adults and 15 new children regularly attending it.
  •       In Lichfield  diocese, 2000 people joined local churches in  2011-12 who previously had no Christian faith or church connection. 
  •       There are 1800 registered ‘Messy Churches’ in the UK, with an average of 55 at each one. There were none in 2005.
  •        750,000 ‘Diamond Jubilee Bibles’ were sold last year, 5x more than expected, as a Jubilee themed gift for people to give away.
in the meantime the CofE is at the forefront of global campaigns to tackle world hunger and poverty, focused on the G8 summit next week, and at the local level the church is hugely involved in practical work to support and bless the vulnerable. I'm not sure where the stat comes from, but I heard that of 30,000 parent and baby groups in the UK, 27,000 are run by churches.

Because this is good news, it generally won't find its way into the media, but each stat here is a life touched, changed, blessed by God through his people.

1 comment:

  1. It is true, good news seldom makes it into our media reports here in South Africa too. Thanks for these encouraging stats and information. God bless you in your ministry.
    Living in Grace
    Delme Linscott