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B2C Sunday goes seasonal

15 August 2014

Calling you: the campaign's invitation cards

Calling you: the campaign's invitation cards

THE Back to Church Sunday campaign has become so successful that its organisers are marking its tenth anniversary by extending it to a whole season of invitations.

The Season of Invitation begins with the now traditional Back to Church Sunday in September, followed the next month by Harvest Festival, then the Remembrance Day service in November, and Advent in early December, culminating in Christmas.

Since Back to Church Sunday started, in 2004, more than 260,000 people have accepted an invitation from a friend; but research suggests that, if the invitation is repeated, the guest is more likely to keep coming.

The Rt Revd Paul Bayes, the Bishop-elect of Liverpool and part of the campaign's leadership team, said: "People may be nervous; the person who's asking may be nervous. If we have a Season of Invitation, Christians will become more confident to invite, and the people they invite will come more often, and, who knows, they may stick with the faith.

"Invite your friends to Church on these five moments in this particular part of the year, and we believe it will make a big difference. Share your faith with them . . . and the Church will grow."

The campaign has produced packs of invitation cards for adults and children, and calendars and posters. It is also offering training sessions for people wanting to make the most of the season.


Clintons count their cards.

Traditional seasons for sending greetings cards are changing, the card retail chain Clintons suggests. Last year, cards celebrating Eid, Diwali, and the Chinese and Jewish New Years all sold more than those for Hallowe'en, St David's Day, and St Andrew's Day.

Clintons also reported that demand for same-sex wedding cards since the ceremony's legalisation in March was 60 per cent greater than sales of cards for civil partnerships at the same point last year.

There was a 48-per-cent increase in the buying of 95th-birthday cards in the past year, and a 22-per-cent increase in the sending of 100th-birthday cards.

A director at Clintons, Tim Fairs, said: "We are seeing different types of celebrations and festivals becoming increasingly mainstream. We . . . look forward to seeing what new occasions give rise to celebration in the next few years."

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Preaching as Pilgrimage conference
From the College of Preachers.

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