Listen up, rappin' crew, come on in and take a pew... church tries to appeal to the young

In the beginning, the elders gathered and set up a mighty cry: How are we to get young people into church? And, lo, they decreed: Let there be rap. In a move which risks ridicule, the Church of England has turned to street culture in the hope of attracting new blood. A radio advert will appeal to the lapsed faithful to ‘stop, turn around, walk back’ to church on Sunday.

The spoken message, voiced by a series of actors, is described by the Church as ‘a rap-style poem’. The ad is the latest in a 15-year campaign by the C of E to use advertising to boost church attendances and attract the attention of those, in particular the young, who have no interest in Christianity. Past efforts have met with mixed success. One mid-1990s slogan that declared Christmas to be a ‘bad hair day’ won universal mockery.

The C of E’s usual Sunday attendance figures dropped below the one million figure at the turn of the millennium and have fallen at the most recent count to 871,000. The new advert, produced by a Christian agency based in Bradford, aims to assure its young target audience that they do not need to dress up to go to church. In defiance of the idea of Sunday best, the 40-second routine, which is not set to a drum beat, suggests that congregations where people make an effort to look smart could lack sincerity. The grammar also does little credit to the C of E’s efforts in the thousands of secondary and primary schools it helps run.

This is the Rap-style message to Churchgoers:

*You might have left for so many reasons, but am I wrong to sense that now’s the season, to stop, turn around, walk back? Don’t look to make no airs and graces. Faked up smiles and masked up faces. No need to make no innovation. Please accept this invitation.

It says: ‘Don’t look to make no airs and graces. Faked up smiles and masked up faces. No need to make no innovation. Please accept this as your invitation.’ The poem won endorsement from Lambeth Palace, where the Archbishop of Canterbury’s adviser on church growth, Canon Paul Bayes, said it was ‘a great opportunity for churches to speak to their communities with the message of invitation.’

The advert will appear on commercial radio stations as part of a timeshare system in which parishes have been encouraged to club together with other local churches to buy airtime. It is part of a ‘Back to church Sunday’ drive which hopes to bring in thousands of new worshippers on September 27. It is backed by churches in Scotland and Wales, Methodist and evangelical churches, although Roman Catholic leaders have not signed up.

Last year, its organisers say, some 37,000 lapsed members were drawn back to church on the campaign Sunday.

Read more:–church-tries-appeal-young.html#ixzz0RBfTlTJB

EDIT - never mind - I just realized this is about the CofE. :rolleyes:


But remember in some places of the Catholic Church we have special Masses for teens that :

#1 Can’t get out of bed early enough to make 12 Noon Mass so they have a special “Teen Mass” at 4or 5pm for them.
#2 Need a full “Band” with drums and electric guitars as an incentive to pull their I-Pod earplugs out long enough for Mass.

I guess when we need Rap the Rap-ture will be close… geesh we already have clowns acts :rolleyes: Ugh!


sorry to sound so ugly… just a mood. I’m going to go say a rosary now and I’ll feel better in a bit.

So then I will ask the question regarding Catholics –

But are they going for the right reason, or simply to be entertained?

I would like to know how many still attend Mass after being lured in by the flash and fun of a teen Mass with bands and all sorts of nonsense. How many who are there because it’s cool and fun are living solid Catholic lives? I’m not saying that just because someone likes a Mass like this that they are not a good Catholic - so don’t jump on me just yet. I’m saying that if you teach them they will come - even if there are no drums or guitars.

Young people are not stupid. If they are told about the Truth, what it REALLY means, and how it applies to their lives, they will crave the Mass and the Eucharist without bells and whistles, bands and nonsense that is fleeting and empty without a true understanding of the Mass in its purest form.


This reminds me of my parents trying to be “hip with me” when I was younger. It’s just embarasing.

I whole-heartedly agree!:thumbsup:
I have 3 great Catholic kids. Son-17, S-11, D-5 (my 'lil Ladybug)

My kids truly, immensely, will have to drag them while they are clawing at the ground if we ever have to go to the teen Mass. We had to go once because of a timing thing with our schedule one weekend and after the Mass driving home it was kinda quiet and my oldest says “I don’t even feel like we went to Mass”

Wow! I think he gets it.


Instead of dumbing down the Faith I think we should focus on making people less dumb. Mass is not a concert and people should not come to Church to be entertained.

I can’t stand the teen masses with all that strange music. Even though this is CofE, if I were over there I would say, look, I have no respect for rappers already, so why do you think that I will take your imitation of them seriously??

Not to say that we shouldn’t make the Catholic church more accesible to teens… I my case Adoration is on Fridays, and Confession is on Saturdays. These are the only two days a week I work because of school!:frowning: It’s sad that I can only make adoration when on a retreat or out of town. Also there doesn’t seem to be any Latin mass within fifty miles… :frowning:

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