A Tauranga church is replacing Sunday morning services with screenings of the All Blacks tour matches in Britain and Ireland next month in a bid to attract worshippers.

Greerton Bible Church, which describes itself as a "mainstream Christian church", plans to show the tests against Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland on successive Sundays from November 6.

The church's regular services will be held on Friday nights instead.

At 7am each Sunday, starting with the test against Wales, the congregation will also be treated to a visit from Chiefs coach Ian Foster, former All Black Eroni Clarke and Bay of Plenty Steamers players Grant McQuoid and Hayden Reid.

Senior pastor Russell Embling, who confesses to being a bit of a rugby fan, came up with the idea.

"A lot of people are going to watch the All Black games on Sunday morning, so we figured if we can't beat 'em, join 'em," he said.

But Mr Embling said rugby would not entirely replace religion.

"Each of our guest speakers will also share their story of how their faith has influenced their rugby careers and life."

Mr Embling said church leaders had been unanimous in their support of the plan.

One or two members of the congregation had voiced concern about missing out on regular worship, but were reassured when told about the alternative services.

The plan will also give the church a chance to trial Friday night services, which it suspects may better suit people who work or play sport on Sundays.

The congregation, who usually number about 250, are being encouraged to dress in rugby supporters' gear for the screenings.

There will be face-painting competitions for children.

"We want to try and break the stereotype or caricature that people have in mind about church being staid and starchy and not enjoying life," Mr Embling said.

The Sunday morning gatherings will begin with a hearty breakfast at 7 o'clock.

Attendance is free but tickets need to be collected from the church office during the week so catering can be organised.

The All Blacks last night set off from Auckland to attempt the Grand Slam - winning tests against Wales, Ireland, England and Scotland.

The last All Black team to beat all four sides was Graham Mourie's 1978 team.

- additional reporting: NZPA