City second thoughts

Newfrontiers leaders have been making a big deal of UK cities over the last couple of years, and quite right too. We have more churches in Bedford than in almost every one of the UK's conurbations, which is pretty much ridiculous.

So the need to get more people starting and growing churches in cities is obvious. But here's an interesting fact that I found in Wired magazine the other day, which gave me slight pause for thought:

For the first time in history, more than half the world's population live in cities: by 2030, three out of five people will be city dwellers. But the British are bucking this trend. The 2001 census revealed an "exodus from the cities". Since 1981, Greater London and the six former metropolitan counties of Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, West Midlands and West Yorkshire have lost some 2.25 million people in net migration exchanges with the rest of the UK; in recent years this trend has accelerated.

(I added the link to the ONS's site so you can check the facts for yourself.)

There are still loads people in cities and they need great churches - so let's be involved in the effort to achieve that. And let's also seek to be at the forefront of the "urban renaissance" that the article's author suggests. But let's also be aware of what's going on in our land: the suburbs need (and will keep needing) great churches too.