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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 December, 2004, 11:03 GMT
Chocolate bars woo church goers
Back to Church Sunday poster
Worshippers were wooed back to church with bars of chocolate
Hundreds of people are returning to church following a scheme which used bars of fair trade chocolate to woo potential worshippers.

The "Back to Church Sunday" scheme has resulted in almost 900 people coming back to church in Manchester.

The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Manchester, said he was 'greatly encouraged' by its success.

The initiative targeted 70,000 former churchgoers. About 9 in 10 people who returned said they would do so again.

'Fair trade'

Rt Rev McCulloch said: "When people come and receive the chocolate they discover it is not just a gimmick, it's not an ordinary kind of chocolate fondant. This is a piece of fair trade chocolate."

"The point then to make is that church isn't just about going to a cosy club, it's about belonging to an organisation which has a job of trying to bring justice and fair trade across the world."

The scheme, which was launched in September, will be repeated next year because of its success.

The Bishop added: "I am greatly encouraged by the results so far which show overwhelmingly that people had a positive experience of the church."

Online church pulls in crowds
18 Dec 04 |  Wales
Public 'less committed to church'
12 Dec 04 |  North Yorkshire

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