Events and activities
… open day … flower festival … strawberry fair … concert … book signing … open gardens … craft fair … teddy bear parachuting … behind the scenes tour … guided walk … cream tea … sponsored cycle ride …
National Churches Trust: eclectic events ideas
Organising your own
The most important thing to consider is your audience; who are they, where will they come from, what will they want to see and do?
It is also a good idea to have an end result in mind (eg. to welcome 500 people or to raise £500). Try and make sure that everything you do will help you meet your target.
- Give yourself enough time to plan properly, build into your plan time for publicity, preparation and cleaning up.
- If you spend enough time preparing for your event it will run smoothly, meaning that both your visitors and you can enjoy it more. If your church is open all the time consider closing whilst preparing.
- There is no point in spending a great deal of time, effort and probably money to produce an event if no-one knows about it. Make sure that publicity is a key part of your planning and preparation and that you take advantage of the many ways to distribute publicity, eg press releases, posters to libraries, flyers with local papers etc.
- On the day make sure that everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and that you have someone who can cover for breaks so that volunteers get time to look around and enjoy themselves.
- Always evaluate your event. Count visitor numbers and make a record of visitor comments. All this information will help you to plan future events.
- Make sure that official records (eg service books, accounts sheets) record the fact that there was a special event on. This may help you to persuade those who were not keen that the event does have a measurable effect.
Ecclesiastical Insurance: planning church events
GOV.UK: organising a voluntary event
There are several large national and regional events which your church could be a part of. These will give you a taste for something big, whilst being able to rely on some central organisation and publicity. However, don’t underestimate the number of local people these events will attract, and make sure you promote the event in your area and welcome them too.
Heritage Open Days: get involved
Ride+Stride: near you
Caring for God’s Acre: cherishing churchyards week
Being a venue
If you would like to offer your church or other space to other users then you should have a formal agreement with those users to protect you and your building.
The type of agreement you need will depend on the type and scale of use, ranging from another organisation using part of the building for long periods of time or installing a permanent structure, to singular or regular lettings and one off use for a more shared event (perhaps where a band holds a concert but the church sells tickets).
If you are entering into a long term agreement, or considering anything which will entail structural or decoration work to your building you should check with your relevant building advisers at Diocesan, District, Synod or national level at an early stage and certainly before you enter into any commitments.
Ecclesiastical Insurance: hiring church premises to organisations