Anglican church opens in formerly ‘Godless’ Telford


BBC News

An Anglican church has been set up in a Shropshire town once described as “Godless” for having among the lowest-recorded church attendances in Britain.

For the past 18 months Christians have been worshipping in Lawley School in Telford, a town with fewer than one in 100 regular church-goers in 2005.

The primary school-based church has now been recognised by the Church of England as the River Community Church.

It was officially opened by the Bishop of Shrewsbury Mark Rylands on Sunday.
‘Growth signs’

The River Community Church serves the Lawley and Lightmoor areas of Telford and is led by the Reverend Steve Kelly.

Mr Rylands said the town no longer deserved its “Godless” association.

It was described as such by a resident in 2005 after a report by the Church of England’s Church Mission Society which ranked the town as having one of the lowest regular church attendances in Britain.

“There are lovely signs of growth, of new life and of real care here in Telford.

“There are one or two golden bits and I would say the River Community Church is a breath of fresh air and a real sign of hope for the community of Lawley,” Mr Rylands added.

He said there were also plans to establish two more churches in Telford by the autumn.

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