We heard recently that new research - due to be released at the upcoming Mission 21 conference on church planting - will reveal that more new churches are opening in the UK than the popular Starbucks coffee stores. These new research figures clearly undermine the often-cited view that the church is a dying institution with no relevance to modern society.
While 481 UK Starbucks branches have opened since 1998, more than 500 churches started up during the same period. This figure is based on only 18 of the more than 400 denominations in the UK, so many more churches may actually have opened.
"This is exciting news for the UK church!" the new Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, has said, commenting on the implications of this research. "It seems that everywhere I look today there is a new Starbucks full of people. It is great to think that the same thing is happening with churches. Jesus has so much more to offer to people's lives than just a caffeine buzz!"