A website designed to support the occasional offices is available now to all clergy and lay people involved in these important ministries.
was developed to offer research, free downloads, shared ideas and articles, plus commonly-asked questions about any aspect of ministry around the baptism of children, weddings and funerals.
Resources range from practical things like day-to-day forms and fees advice, to articles from colleagues across the Church of England that reflect on real, experienced ministry. Valuable, independent research into the occasional offices, commissioned by the Archbishop's Council, is shared on the site, along with links to specially-produced printed resources, all of which have been tested in parishes.
These are designed to help churches build contacts through the occasional offices and keep in touch with them, ultimately supporting church growth. Many items can be customised with local church details before ordering via the partner website,
The Revd Canon Dr Sandra Millar, Head of Projects and Developments, Archbishops' Council said: "In 2014 the Church carried out just under 1,000 weddings, over 2,000 baptisms, and almost 3,000 funerals every week of the year. Some 12% of births during 2014 were marked by a Church of England infant baptism or thanksgiving service, whilst 31% of deaths were marked by a Church of England funeral. These services are hugely important markers in life and I hope this Hub will offer churches support and encouragement to create the best experience possible for families."
Special one day presentations are being given to dioceses across the country to share more about the importance of the occasional offices in reaching millions of visitors to church every year.
Canon Millar said: "We want this resource to be the centre point of expertise, experience and practical tips, so comments, ideas and articles from parishes are always welcome. It's straightforward to send something - special forms on the site enable you send messages along with attachments."
Because the Church Support Hub is regularly updated, a monthly newsletter to keep churches informed about all that's new or topical is also available.
To sign up, visit: https://churchsupporthub.org/sign-up/