One is that the people who are already here have the preference when it comes to choosing the times for the new congregations to meet. Those who have not yet joined us don’t get a say. Since one of our main aims is to make it possible for others to join us, we will need to weigh up both what times suit us and what times might be most appropriate for newcomers.

A second serious matter is that it is unlikely that many will turn up just because we advertise a new time of meeting. What the new congregations will do is make space for new people to be drawn into relationships with those already here. It is not really a matter of how many seats are vacant, but how many relationships are available to draw new people into.

Connected to this is the scary question as to where these mysterious strangers will come from. God will bring some of them, no doubt, as he has always done. But the safest way is for them to come as our friends.

At his recent seminar Michael Harvey pointed out that Anglicans have never really seen inviting people as part of their church culture. People just come because it is Anglican. This is where people go who want to go to a certain kind of church. And until 30 years ago that is what lots of people did.

But not many do that now. Now lots are coming because someone says to them, “Would you like to come to church with me?”