Welcome and Belonging
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing. (Hebrews 13:2)
In From Anecdote to Evidence many churches attribute growth to a welcoming atmosphere. (p11)
Welcoming & Welcome Packs Resourcing Event
We have delivered two training mornings on welcoming in response to the MAP tool returns. You can access the videos, presentations and handouts of this training below.
Videos of the sessions can be found here
You can view presentation slides from each session below.
- Theology of Welcome
- Welcome packs - welcome brochure, welcome booklet and welcome packs
- Welcome. Where does it begin? Poster, students' flyer, handout, workers' flyer
- Welcome Training - audit
- Making Children and Young People Welcome - starter questions
If you produce a welcome pack, you might want to include a card to collect names and contact details. This is fine, but you need to be aware that the collection of personal data, whether recording electronically or on paper does require the church to conform with data protection legislation. We have provided links to three fairly succinct resources - link 1, link 2 & link 3.
Images of Children
If you want to use images of children in your welcome material or website, you must get suitable parental permission. Please download this document which is taken from the diocesan safeguarding policy and use the consent form included.
For all these resources and many more visit the St Peter's College resources search page and use keyword 'welcome'. (St Peter's College is the diocesan learning community for mission and ministry)
Here is a range of resources to further help you with questions covered in this section of the Mission Action Planning tool. Some are within our own diocesan website but we have also included links to good outside sources. As we become aware of other useful materials, we will update this page.
- Everybody Welcome by Bob Jackson and George Fisher is a 5 session course that churches can use to review and improve their welcome. It includes mateial that relates to many of the questions in this section of the MAP tool. You can learn more about it at www.chpublishing.co.uk/features/everybody-welcome It can be borrowed from the Resources Centre at Church House.
- Everybody's Welcome is a website of resources produced by the Catholic Church in England and Wales supporting the development of welcoming, family-sensitive, friendly parishes.
- First Impressions Count is a freely downloadable workshop available from the Methodist Church which helps you to see welcome from the perspective of a newcomer. The materials have everything you need to run the course yourself for your church.
- Season of Invitation You can use a series of events in the autumn - Back to Church Sunday, Harvest, Remembrance & Christmas - to create a culture of invitation among church members.
- The Child Friendly Church Award helps you to think about how churches welcome and integrate children and their families into the worshipping life of the church.
- Web Presence. Though the questions in the MAP Tool do not refer specifically to church websites, part of our welcome now must relate to our presence in cyberspace. People looking for a church may well begin their search online. Do you have a website? Is it up-to-date? If you don't have a website you should at least ensure that you have an accurate and uptodate entry on the 'achurchnearyou' website as this will be the first place many people will go when searching for your church. Some churches have found Facebook to be an effective way of communicating with people and extending the church fringe. If you would like advice or help, please contact LJ.Buxton@sheffield.anglican.org. For further information and guideance on creating a webiste click here
- See the 'Further Resources' (www.sheffield.anglican.org/further-external-resources-for-map) page in this section of the website for 'Evidence to Action', Grove Books, and other material applicable to all sections of the MAP tool.
Don't forget the resources centre: www.sheffield.anglican.org/diocesan-resources-centre
Testimony from a church...
At the churches in Balby, Loversall and Wadworth running the Everybody Welcome course has highlighted lots of places we can be more welcoming to visitors and we can make it more likely that they come a second and third time. How we can make visitors - regulars and help them in their faith journey. We are becoming more structured and intentional in how we are church.
Big change often comes about through small incremental steps and the lots of little good ideas and tweeks in this course enable you to change slowly. It is a great accompaniment to mission action planning.
Alun Price - Priest in Charge Balby, Loversall and Wadworth
Need help or advice?
Contact Lucy Nunn
or telephone 01709 309135.