Since it began in Greater Manchester in 2004 Back to Church Sunday (BTCS) has become the largest single local-church invitational initiative in the world, taking place in churches across denominations worldwide. As an annual event in its own right, BTCS continues to have a significant impact on church attendance. Not only does it see tens of thousands of people come back to church on one Sunday in September, but we know that many have then become regular attendees and active members of their local churches.
I would like to encourage each of you to get involved this year with the Back to Church project. When we take the time and energy to invite someone to join us for worship we are true evangelists. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we are equipped for service, equipped to bear witness to the gospel where we live and work, equipped to support the church in its work by our prayers and gifts. When your congregation works together to invite past members and new friends to church and social time, you are letting them know God loves and cares for them. Back to Church Sunday is one of the opportunities we have for service; let it be our joy to do this ministry.
BTCS works best when churches join together as one big church on one big day: the last Sunday in September. The national date helps build momentum as churches partner together across the country and it is our hope that BTCS will become widely recognised as the Sunday in the year when church people will consider inviting their friends to attend church.
Let us pray together: Teach us, O God, that as members of your church we are all involved in its mission to share the Good News of Jesus. Forgive our past failures, rekindle our zeal, and enlarge our vision so that this Back to Church Sunday will bring the knowledge of your love to others in our community, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Back to Church Sunday is all about invitation - it reaches the people who are not yet in church through the people who are. We know from research that 3 million people would come back to church with an invitation.
Posters and invitation/prayer cards are available through the Diocesan Office
For other resources for Back to Church Sunday 2012 follow the links below.