Churches meet in coffee shops to reinvigorate congregations

Jul 11, 2018 by

by Olivia Rudgard, Telegraph:

The Church of England is holding services in coffee shops in attempt to reinvigorate congregations.

As part of a £27m expansion new congregations will be set up in coastal areas and housing estates, with the traditional pews in a Victorian building being replaced by more relaxed meetings which are designed to appeal to millennials and attract new worshippers.

Many of them will follow the example of a “cafe-style” church in Margate, which was set up 10 years ago and offers churchgoers coffee and cake before an evening service.

The south coast of England is to be targeted with a string of similar churches in Herne Bay, Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, Sittingbourne, Maidstone and Ashford, as well as St Peter Port in Guernsey, in plans costing almost £900,000.

The Bishop of Dover, Trevor Willmott, said he had been “astonished” by the project’s initial success.

Another investment in Swindon, costing £1.49m, will convert a former railway works building into a church specifically aimed at capturing millennials who don’t currently attend.

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