Working with what you have (things to do now)
Your church, chapel or meeting house is a symbol of your presence within the community.
It can be a valuable tool for mission, as well as working with your community and welcoming visitors.
Starting off small and working with what you already have is not only sensible and low cost; it also helps you to work out what will work in your building and community. It means that you can try a variety of things with relatively small outlay of time and money, and see which brings the most engagement, enjoyment, use or income.
Staring small can also help you allay any fears from members of your congregation or community. Using the church for other activities can cause tensions, and easing people into it and letting them see the benefits for themselves, and see that the church is still a living place of worship, can often change their minds.
Once you have decided on a general direction you may want to develop a mission statement or other guiding principle which will underpin all your work. You might even go so far as writing a project plan to share with others, in which you can develop ideas and clearly describe your plans.
National Churches Trust: writing plans and reports
Opening your door to visitors is one of the easiest things you can do, with little or no effort. There are, of course, some considerations you should make: about your building, your community and your potential visitors. But there is a huge amount of information and support available, both before and after you open.
National Churches Trust: opening for visitors
Exciting and engaging events are a great way of attracting and welcoming new people to visit, or of encouraging those who have been before to return for something new. They can be large or small, aimed at a particular group or more general, and be free to organise or considered an investment to encourage donations.
National Churches Trust: events and activities
It’s hard to underestimate the current interest in local heritage. Most churches can tap into all aspects of this, and benefit from visitors and volunteers as a result. From family history and social heritage to architectural splendor and exploring ancient landscapes, your church probably has it all.
National Churches Trust: promoting your heritage