Published: 16:49, 16 July 2019
A church is launching Sunday afternoon services to allow revellers time to recover from evenings out on the town.
"The night out the day before" is listed by St Gabriel's in Kings Hill along with children's sport and farmer's markets as reasons why some members may be unable to attend on Sunday mornings.
Church bosses say they accept the habits and routines of local people have changed and so are opening up new opportunities for those that are busy during traditional worshipping hours - whether that's playing football, visiting family members or indeed nursing hangovers.
As a result, it will be launching a 4pm service at Valley Invicta Primary School from September on the second and fourth Sunday of each month to cater for those absent in the morning.
The church's congregation will continue to gather at 10am each week for the usual morning service, while in another change, its popular Messy Church sessions for children will soon become monthly events.
Rev. Mark Montgomery said: "This is something we've been looking at for a while but we've only just found the right location so feel now is the right time to announce it.
"The idea is not an unusual occurrence - even though historically church services are in the mornings and evenings, there are quite a few churches that run 4pm services.
"Society has changed and Sunday mornings are not always the best time for people for various reasons.
"We have seen attendance grow quickly at our Messy Church events so want to take advantage of that as well.
"We have a growing congregation in Kings Hill so we see this as very good news for us and an important next step in our journey."
Earlier this month, the Church of England licensed Rev. Montgomery as the first full time priest ever solely licensed to Kings Hill, and therefore made St Gabriel’s an independent CofE congregation in the Diocese of Rochester.