Church asks people to take an interest in the community

Image caption Joanne Cox is an Evangelism in Contemporary Culture Officer for the Methodist Church

A Methodist conference in Leyland has been told that many people are more concerned about warring families on television than their own neighbours.

"I would argue that you are likely to know characters in Corrie and be more concerned about them than those around you," Joanne Cox told the delegates.

Ms Cox is an Evangelism in Contemporary Culture Officer for the Methodist Church.

Her role involves getting churches to embrace modern technology and culture.

She is urging people to get more acquainted with their communities and to take a greater interest in the lives of those around them.

At the conference at Runshaw College in Leyland, Ms Cox continued: "What is going on next door? What is going on in your street? You might not live on Coronation Street, but what is happening in people's lives and how can you get involved in that?"

She argues it is our unwitting actions that we should think about: "What do the choices we make say about us?"

The conference was primarily aimed at the Methodist church but also welcomed 400 friends from other denominations.

Community and compassion

Image caption The conference was attended by 400 people from many denominations

The church's Evangelism Enabler, Reverend Nick Moxon, led the conference worship. He said the theme for the day was The Year of the Bible, launched to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James' version.

The bible was used to underline a belief in community and compassion.

"At this moment in time we have nearly a thousand people in Lancashire taking an added interest in the bible," he said.

"People are talking about it more. As I go round the churches in Lancashire more people are wanting to do training in it and today is a great example, we have 400 people who are wanting to learn more about the bible."

The conference, which was effectively the yearly get-together for Lancashire Methodists, offered a full day of worship, workshops and top-drawer speakers.

The Reverend Stephen Poxon, Chairman of the Lancashire District of Methodists, was buoyed by the turn out and in particular the amount of children and young people taking part.

He said: "It's exciting that young people are part of the music group. There's a children's dance group and children's activities throughout the day.

"This is the first time we have made this a family event. Previously it was just for adults and I am thrilled with the amount of people who want to be part of it."

Joe Wilson presents the faith programme on BBC Radio Lancashire from 6am each Sunday.

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