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Photocall Ireland/Sam Boal
take me to church

Wednesday is the new Sunday: Would more midweek Masses make you more likely to go?

The Church of England is pushing the new initiative

THE CHURCH OF England is encouraging innovative cathedrals whose midweek services are attracting growing numbers of worshippers.

The belief is that followers are too busy to attend on Sunday due to shopping, home maintenance and family commitments.

The Church of England says half of worshippers at its 42 cathedrals now attend services midweek instead of the traditional Sunday slot.

“More people are trying to get to worship during the week and all those cathedrals that pushed the boat out to innovate and start new services are finding their efforts being rewarded with great success,” said Adrian Dorber, the dean of Lichfield.

“The lesson is you’ve got to put your bucket out when the rain is falling.”

Attendance at cathedrals in the UK had risen by a third in the last decade to 30,900-a-week and attendance at midweek cathedral services rose even faster with the number of adults doubling to 15,000.

“People often squeeze them in to very, very pressurised lifestyles, whereas at the weekend you have got commitments with children doing sport, shopping, household maintenance,” said Dorber.

“Taking out half an hour or an hour during the week is much more negotiable, it comes out of much more discretionary time.”

Dorber added that the “reasonably short” length of midweek services was also helping to draw worshippers.

Dean of York Vivienne Faull suggested that the anonymity afforded by cathedrals was attracting new worshippers.

“We do have the opportunity of allowing people to come in from the edges,” she said.

“If I take a eucharist… in the middle of the week in the nave at York Minster there will be a lot of people who just slide in the sides.”

“It is very difficult just to slide in to a parish church because everyone in the village is watching.”

Poll: Would more midweek Masses make you more likely to go?

Poll Results:

I don't attend mass and would never do so (946)
No, it would make no difference either way (525)
Yes, more available times would help (298)
  I already attend mass regularly (293)

© – AFP 2014

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