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Churches across England are gearing up to bring former churchgoers back to their church and encourage those who have never been to give it a go in a Season of Invitation from the end of September to Christmas this year.

Training sessions led by Michael Harvey, the co-founder of Back to Church Sunday, help people to invite people they know to church.

Since 2004 Back to Church Sunday has helped reach those who had once attended church but whose attendance had lapsed for a variety of reasons. By 2011 around 230,000 had come back to the church as a result of the initiative.

Research indicated that people responded better to a choice of services rather than a single day, so the idea of a Season of Invitation was born.

The season runs from Back to Church Sunday at the end of September and includes services at Harvest, Remembrance Sunday and Advent.

Training sessions are planned for the URC's Yorkshire, North Western and Mersey Synods in September.

Around 800 people poured into the Southport Convention Centre on 18 July for the North West and Merseyside Synods' Big Day Out.

The event showcased the work of the United Reformed Church in the North West of England. Guest speakers including Steve Chalke founder of Oasis UK and Loretta Minghella chief executive of Christian Aid explored the theme Breaking Barriers and Crossing Boundaries.

Read more: Southport welcomes the Big Day Out

Mary WebsterTwo events in early July celebrated the life of the Revd Mary Webster, the Congregational Church minister whose vision and determination established the carers’ movement 50 years ago.

On Sunday 5 July Eltham United Reformed Church joined the charity Carers UK in a special service to celebrate Mary’s vision in founding the movement.

At the age of 31 Mary gave up her work as a minister and moved to Eltham to care for her frail parents – a move which inspired her to seek out others in similar circumstances. Realising the scale of the need she began to build a national organisation promoting the interests and well-being of carers.

Read more: Carers UK founder commemorated

Reform magazine has just slashed the price of its digital edition for students. The digital edition, available on tablets, smartphones and computers, usually costs £18 a year, but a 12-month subscription is now available to students for just £9. At 10 issues a year, that works out at just 90 pence.

Reform, the magazine which aims to equip Christians to make a difference in the modern world, launched its long-awaited digital edition in April. The half-price offer is available to anyone studying at university, college or secondary school.

Read more: Half-price Reform for students