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Attracting Visitors

  • Ensure that gates, boundary walls, hedges and noticeboards are well maintained, as these are often the first things visitors see as they approach the church.
  • Place a sign outside your building indicating that visitors are welcome and the church is open.
  • If you are able to provide disabled access, are the instructions for assisted access clearly displayed? Click here to print out a sign indicating a portable ramp is available.
  • If you have toilets, are they open, clean, tidy and available for use. It is really annoying when toilets are advertised, and which can be seen when visiting the building, but are inaccessible.
  • Is your church clean and tidy? If not this can leave a lasting impression and make visitors feel that the church is being neglected, even if it isn’t.
  • Check that your notice board isn’t faded or showing out of date notices. Are banners and hangings up-to-date, and in good condition?
  • Keep dog bowls clean and freshly refilled. If this is difficult, perhaps have an empty bowl available that can be filled as and when needed.
  • It is important to have good guides and interpretative material on offer, either in paper format or using modern technology.
  • Consider developing a free simple, single sheet with basic interpretation of features of the church for those who are not familiar with the structures and layout. Have another more detailed guide with the history, points of interest, events, or important local people particularly associated with your church.
  • Consider having a designated prayer area with invitations to pray or with candles to aid reflection and meditation. If you do provide candles, please make sure there is a means of lighting them.
  • If you have features within your churchyard that you would like visitors to see, ensure that the paths leading to them are cut regularly. Check that any benches or seats are kept well maintained, making them pleasant to sit on and quietly reflect.
  • Consider how you ask for donations, and when. The visitor experience is enhanced by first seeing a welcome sign and guides on entry but is diminished by first seeing a sign saying how much it costs to keep the church open. Consider having a donation box notice on the way out.

 

All churches are listed on the Exploring Norfolk Churches website which includes information such as opening times, accessibility and parking. Check that the information on your church is up-to-date and email Eliza Greenwell on eliza.greenwell@dioceseofnorwich.org if any changes need to be made.

‘Church Open’ posters

Download the A4 posters below to put up in your church(es) and elsewhere to attract visitors:

Open Church Welcome Poster – Purple

Open Church Welcome Poster – White (less ink!)