Back To Church Sunday is four weeks away. As part of the media build-up Ben Wilson writes:
This coming Monday, 1st September, is 'Back to Work Monday' - the end of the school holidays and the return to the daily grind for many workers who have been enjoying their summer holiday (apologies to those of you reading this on Monday who would rather not be reminded of this fact).
Last year, as you may remember, we achieved a good amount of coverage in the national media for the 'Back to Work prayers' on the CofE website. This year, we are hoping to replicate this, but have taken things a stage further by taking out a quarter page colour advertisement in the Metro newspaper, which has a circulation of c.1.7 million people across several major urban areas.
We appreciate that this means that some more rural dioceses will not have the advertisement physically distributed in their own patch, but we hope to overcome this by generating wider national press coverage of the prayer itself with a complementary survey which has revealed some interesting insights into the working population's views on the forthcoming weeks.
One of the strongest lines is that a significant proportion of the working adult population see September as a chance to make improvements to their lifestyle. We are using this as a chance to promote the third of a million invitations going out through churches for Back to Church Sunday, for those looking to address their spiritual life and reconnect with a local church.
The advertisement therefore carries a strapline about Back to Church and encourages those interested to visit the website, www.backtochurch.co.uk.
All this activity kicks off almost four weeks' run-up to Back to Church Sunday, and we hope that this initiative will create a good backdrop for participating dioceses' own local media/promotional work in broadening awareness about this special date.
The Back To Church team also needs your help as we plan for 2009. This year, you'll remember, a DVD resource was again produced, majoring on a rural church story.
Gillian Oliver asks: 'The back to church team would love to know how useful the DVD has been to you, as it begins to plan for 2009. Please tell us [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you value this resource, and if so, what you would like more or less of. Thankyou.'