Digital initiative aimed at occasional church visitors gets positive results


According to Church of England attendance statistics for 2015, 85 per cent of the population will visit a church over the course of a year. However, only 2 per cent call themselves regular church attenders

To combat one of the Church’s biggest conundrums, Church of England – Birmingham created a free resource called soul[food]. The pilot initiative was aimed at getting occasional church visitors to attend services more often. 

Rev Rhiannon King, Director of Mission for Church of England – Birmingham and one of the originators of the initiative, explained: “We wanted to provide a very easy way for people who only come to church occasionally to follow up their experience.

“Often when people come for things like weddings and Christmas, they leave in droves, never to be seen again.

“Even the most savvy and welcoming church cannot follow them all up.”

The creators of soul[food] made a pocket-sized card that informs people how to receive thoughtful but light-touch messages to their phone on the theme of the service they attended.

A pilot survey of 397 soul[food] subscribers, which included committed Christian subscribers and sceptics, proved the new resource to be effective.

It found:

  • 86 per cent said that the messages left them wanting more
  • 67 per cent said the messages made them want to explore more
  • 61 per cent said they see things differently as a result of the messages


Rev King said: “Although our primary target is always non-believers, we know that…

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