If every church had a chocolate fountain, chocolate crosses and chocolate sweets readily available for parishioners during worship, it may do something to perk up attendances.
However a Church of Scotland minister in Bo’ness is not trying to deliberately entice non-churchgoers back into the fold, but instead to remind his congregation of the true meaning of Lent.
Reverend Albert Bogle, of Bo’ness St Andrew’s, is the mastermind behind the aptly named “Chocolate Sunday”, which will be held this weekend (March 7).
He explained: “We’re inviting people to debunk the secularity of Lent – too often we give up the things that cost us very little.
“We won't change the world by giving up chocolate but we can if we take up a cause that's worth dying for.
“Although it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, people can eat the chocolate, but what we really want to do is take up our crosses and start serving others.”
Mr Bogle and members of his church are continually exploring different ways the Kirk can utilise technological advances. Texting, Twitter and other social media already play a key role in the life of the congregation.
Worshippers are encouraged to keep their phones on during the service so they can text prayer requests to the minister. These then appear on screens at the front as something for the congregation to remember.
During each of the 40 days of Lent members who signed up receive a daily Bible verse by text or email as part of their initiative.
It is hoped these developments will give the Kirk a greater presence in both online and local communities.
Notes to news desks:
For more information or to speak to Reverend Albert Bogle please phone 07715 374 557.
4 March 2010