Festivals to reach people outside church

Churches in the Chilterns are coming together to host a festival to attract new people to their buildings.

Highlights of the Chilterns Churches Festival include a barn dance at St John's, Ashley Green on 18 May, An Evening With CS Lewis at Emmanuel, Chesham on 20 May and a flower festival at St Michael and All Angel's, Amersham from 17 to 19 May.

The event is modelled on the Cotswold Churches Festival, which was held for the first time last year and proved successful in attracting people from outside the church.

"We were impressed with the Cotswold Churches Festival and their ideas," said Don Sanderson, Amersham Deanery Lay Chair.

"We are sharing resources, buildings and ideas to see what actually works in our area. It's really up to each church to think through what they are going to do.

"There's a comedy play on the God Particle and a band night. We want to welcome people into church who wouldn't normally come in."

The second Cotswold Churches Festival kicks off on 11 May. Events include a historical exhibition at St Leonard's, Eynsham, a special Songs of Praise Service organised by St Leonard's, Banbury and a classical concert at St Mary's, Banbury.

For more details see http://www.chilternschurchesfestival.org and http://www.cotswoldchurchesfestival.org

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