09 November 2017
Further to recent services of confirmation held in Horncastle and Lincoln (see here for more), the church of St John the Evangelist in The Parish of the Trinity, South Grantham provided the setting for another occasion for celebration last weekend as four people were baptised and 39 people were confirmed by the Bishop of Grantham.
Speaking after the service, which is said to have been attended by approximately 400 people, the Rt Revd Dr Nicholas Chamberlain said: “When St John describes Jesus talking to his disciples at the Last Supper, we are told that he prayed: ‘that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you’. As I drove away from the service at St John’s I felt that I’d been part of an occasion in which Jesus’ disciples today were being that one body for which he prayed. Thirty-nine people had been strengthened by the gift of the Holy Spirit in confirmation. They are all very different, are worshippers in different churches and come from different communities across South Lincolnshire, but are united in their Christian faith and in their commitment to serving in the world. It was quite an occasion!”
Further helpful information on confirmation is available from the Church of England website.
Meanwhile, parishes in the Diocese of Lincoln are helping to provide a more accurate picture of regular church attendance in greater Lincolnshire.
The latest national published statistics, available here, show that reporting in the diocese has increased by 28% from a 58% return in 2014 to an 86% return in 2016. As reporting increases, and estimates therefore decrease, a more realistic and accurate picture of the worshipping communities throughout greater Lincolnshire can be seen.
Although the usual Sunday attendance figures have decreased slightly by just under 4.5% (from 13,800 in 2012 to 13,200 in 2016), this figure includes the stable number of 1200 children and young people throughout this period. In addition, the Electoral Rolls within the diocese have increased by just under 3.5% from 20,100 in 2012 to 20,800 in 2016, and church attendance at Christmas has seen growth of more than 6% from 43,800 in 2012 to 46,600 in 2016.
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Rt Revd Christopher Lowson, has said: “These latest statistics are once again testament to the hard work of the clergy, lay ministers and the people of the parishes of our diocese, and their efforts to ensure that our churches continue to be places of warm hospitality and fulfilling worship. In addition to the many regular acts of worship that take place each week in our churches, it is important to also acknowledge the work of the people of our parishes in serving their local communities, such as in the hosting of foodbanks and the various groups that offer care and support to others.”