Nearly 20,000 people across Norfolk have been reached by more than 60 local churches and organisations working together as part of the Christian mission Who Cares in the past three months.
Helen Baldry reports
Following the survey, Who Cares is hoping to get around 2,000 local Christians and their friends together for a Big Alpha Supper at the Norfolk Showground on October 2.
Attendees of the Christian youth festival Newday, which was held at the Norfolk showground in August, were sent out by the bus load to churches throughout the area to help them with the survey.
A staggering 18,560 responses were given to the one-question survey, simply asking ‘What hurts the most?’
The mission now moves into a phase where churches are assessing and responding to the issues that people have raised.
Mission organiser Rob Tervet
explained about this unique approach to outreach: “Who Cares is all about churches taking the time to listen and then gently and humbly offer people compassion and hope for the things in life that hurt the most.
“We're thrilled to have received so many responses. People are clearly ready to share, but now comes the really important bit as churches are thinking and praying hard about how best to respond with compassion and share hope.”
, minister at Norwich Central Baptist Church
, said: “At the beginning some were understandably a bit nervous about going out and speaking to strangers but they really grew in confidence as the time went on. In addition to asking the question: ‘What hurts the most in life?’, some were able to talk about their faith and pray for those they spoke to. They set a wonderful example of how Christians should be... full of the joy of life, excited by what God is doing and willing to step out in faith."
, from Mulbarton parish church, said: “Here in Mulbarton, we were blessed to have a group from Newday come and help us with the Who Cares survey. They arrived full of enthusiasm and soon covered the 800+ homes allocated. Their friendly nature won over most of the people they encountered and might even have planted the seed with some.”
People were invited to write their response to the question on a postcard. The results have been analysed and churches are now responding to needs of the people in their local communities. The overall county-wide results will be announced at the Alpha supper event on October 2.
, the pioneer of the Alpha Course, which has seen over 20 million people find out about the Christian faith across 169 nations, will speak at the Big Alpha Supper.
Appearing alongside Nicky will be Darrell Tunningley
a former drug dealer and convicted armed robber who attended an Alpha Course whilst in prison and experienced God dramatically break into his life.
Full details of all events held in response to the survey can be found on www.who-cares.org.uk
Click here to book your place at the Big Alpha Supper
Pictured above: Youngsters from Newday out ont he Mile cross estate in Norwich getting ready to ask the Who Cares question
Pictured below: Nicky Gumbel