THE Church of England Communications Office this week used a newspaper advertisement to help fight the back-to-work blues after the summer break.
The “Moody Monday” prayer appeared in Metro, a free newspaper for about 1.4 million commuters. It coincided with an ICM poll, commissioned by the Office, which found that one in eight respondents were dreading returning to work, and that people in the South-East were the most stressed in the country.
One third of the 1157 adults polled expected work to be “very busy” over the next few months, men marginally more so than women; those between 35 and 44 expected to be busiest. The South-East were expecting to be the busiest region (37 per cent).
A large proportion — 32 per cent — were planning to improve their lifestyles in terms of healthy eating or getting fit, particularly those aged between 18 and 24. Almost one in three in the South-East, Midlands, and North had such aspirations, but improved fitness was less of a goal in Wales and the South-West (25 per cent).
A minority were looking forward to settling back into the normal routine (more women than men — 18 per cent as opposed to 12 per cent). Concern about job security in the current economic climate was highest in the Midlands, at 19 per cent.
About 15 per cent of those polled said they were “dreading work over the coming months”.
The advert also promotes the Back To Church Sunday campaign, which takes place on or around 28 September, and encourages people to invite friends and family back to church who have stopped going.
The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd David James, helped promote the campaign by giving out free papers at Bradford Forster Square station on Monday. He said that the prayer aimed to show: “God is always there for the long haul.
“He’s ‘always on’, just like the Church is always ready to welcome people who are seeking spiritual guidance and a place to explore the difficult questions of life.”
Churches in 38 of the 43 English dioceses will be taking part in the campaign, as will Churches Together in Scotland, the Church in Wales, Baptist, Methodist and United Reformed Churches nationwide, and Anglican churches in New Zealand and Canada.