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Last Updated: Monday, 24 September 2007, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Bishops aim to up church numbers
The Right Reverend Jonathan Gledhill
Bishop Gledhill is appearing in the radio advertisements
Two West Midlands bishops have launched unusual campaigns to get more people to go to church.

The Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill, is appearing in radio advertisements urging people to reconsider going to church.

On Monday the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Rev David Urquhart, was visiting 13 of his parishes by motorbike.

Both moves are part of the UK-wide campaign called Back To Church Sunday, being held on 30 September.

Bishop Gledhill is believed to be the first Church of England bishop to appear in a radio commercial.

His diocese covers Staffordshire, areas of Shropshire and the Black Country.


In the advert, which is being broadcast on commercial stations across the West Midlands over the week, the bishop said: "Many people say they would come back to church if somebody invited them.

"Well, I'm the Bishop of Lichfield and I'm inviting you."

Bishop Urquhart was visiting churches, schools and nurseries across his diocese which covers Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield and parts of Sandwell, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.

Each of his church-goers has been urged to invite one friend to come to church this Sunday, and churches have been asked to make their services "newcomer-friendly".

Bishop Urquhart said: "People can get out of the habit of going to church but I am sure that church has a lot to offer people in 21st Century Britain - especially those considering the questions about the purpose and meaning of life."

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