One of our archdeacons said that: ”˜An empty church is like the empty palace of a long-forgotten king and people walk past and say, “The king is dead.”’ That’s why when, for example, St Peter’s, Brighton, which was known as the unofficial cathedral of Brighton, was going to close, we said: ”˜Please don’t close it. Please allow us to go there.’ And thankfully the Bishop of Chichester invited us to send a team there.
What is it that allows these church plants to fly?
I think a lot of people are unchurched, but there are also a lot of people who are ”˜de-churched’. They’ve got a faith of some kind, but they’re looking for a church where they feel at home…There are quite a few people who like to have a relaxed, informal style. They like contemporary worship, a message that hopefully is practical for their life, and somewhere they can receive prayer and community. And it seems that those people are coming back to church.