Back to Church Sunday ~ Putting out the Welcome Mat!


Today we put out the welcome mat for Back to Church Sunday. With churches across the Birmingham Diocese and nationally we made a special effort to invite, welcome and offer hospitality to people who were open to the idea of coming back to church or even coming to church for the first time. At St Francis we welcomed a total of 183 adults and 59 children through our door for our 10 o’clock service.

A member of our church, Yvonne Brown, who has come back to church herself in the last year spoke of her experience. Although she had wanted to come to church for some time it was the tragic death of her nephew in Iraq that prompted her to come. She came for her nephew’s funeral which was held at St Francis Church and then kept coming after that. In her grief she found peace, new friendship and new happiness. She attended a ‘Start’ course and later one of our home groups to learn more about her renewed faith and in June she was confirmed by Bishop David.

The gospel reading we heard was Jesus inviting people saying “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11.28) That has been Yvonne’s experience as she has found in church a place to meet with Jesus, to lay down her burdens and to find refreshment and hope.