A Victorian church known as St Michael’s has changed its name to ‘St Mike’s’ in a bid to be more trendy to attract younger people.
Reverend Sarah Yetman explained the reason for the re-branding, saying that she wants the 148-year-old church to be ‘attractive and engaging for younger generations’.
She added: ‘We’re bringing new life into the old building and planting a new congregation into the church.
‘Our vision at St Mike’s is that the church can be a beacon of light and hope within the local community. We aim to reach more young people and that we can see them come to know Jesus in their own way.’
However, speaking to The Sun, one person questioned the decision.
‘The idea that teenagers will be more interested in going to church if we rename it ‘St Mike’s’ is ridiculous,’ they said. ‘What’s next — St Dave’s? St Pete’s?’
The name change to St Mike’s, which is found in Bournemouth will formally go into effect in December.
The church is also opening a coffee bar as part of its renovation, and hopes to offer a school drop off cafe several mornings a week, which will also offer visitors information about events in the local community and local services.
Bishop of Southampton Reverend Debbie Sellin told the Bournemouth Echo: ‘It’s amazing what has been achieved at St Mike’s recently, so it was an honour to be able to join with the team here and celebrate the reopening of this wonderful church.
‘They have created a vibrant community hub where people can come to explore their faith and find a sense of belonging.
‘There is so much going on for adults and kids alike, and I would urge everyone to come and take a look at what is on offer.’