Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Dos and Don'ts of Church Welcoming

I hope everybody enjoyed the "Welcoming" course the other day. We've boilled the gist of the course down to the attached advice. So I hope this all helps.

When Welcoming, DO......

1) Shake visitors' hands firmly and in a friendly manner. Not aggressively - we can't afford any more visitors from "Lawyers R Us".

2) Offer all available paper-based materials. This will normally consist of hymn book, supplementary song sheet, service book, supplementary liturgy sheet, notices, last-minute notices, slightly-later-notices, welcome sheet, gift-aid envelope and "why we're running out of money" leaflet. Oh yeah - and "recycling" leaflet.

3) Be understanding when, after you've handed out 19 sheets of paper, you're told "thanks, but I can't read". It really does happen.

4) Try to give the impression you're glad to see them.

5) Remember that the other Beaker People are also, in their own ways, "Welcomers".  It doesn't all depend on you.

6) Just be nice.

7) Point out people that are worth identifying early on in a faith journey - eg Hnaef, who has overall "new people" welcoming responsibility. Or Colwyn, who has the key to the loos.

8) Make eye contact. NOT THAT MUCH!!!!

9) Be there to help. But don't follow people around. That's weird.

10 Remember why we're here. Not to encounter God. To keep the roof on.

11) Indicate seats that haven't been reserved for regular worshippers. If these exist. The seats, that is, not the regular worshippers.


1) Do any evil laughs.

2) Diss the Archdruid. You can do that later, in private, if the welcomer sticks around and I don't find out.

3) Try to get a date with attractive visitors. Especially if they're attending with their family.

4) Suggest they stay at home, and download the podcast later.

5) Offer a backstage tour.

6) Grin uncontrollably.

7) Explain that children are banned.

8) Try and explain the Athanasian Creed. Unless you're qualiified.

9) Ask visitors whether they have attractive brothers/sisters.

10) Sigh loudly, and say "I'm very sorry".

11) Give any suggestion that you know where they live. Especially if you have a notebook on your person.

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