Is your church ready for visitors?
TOURISM AND TOURISTS IN YOUR CHURCH
A brief exercise to get you thinking
Name of Church:
- Is your Church always 'open', ie, the door unlocked for visitor access most days of the week? (please circle) Yes No
- How many visitors do you estimate visited your Church in the last year? If you are unsure, multiply the number of entries in your visitor book for the last year by 8. (Do you have a visitor's book?!)
- Do you think that last year was typical in terms of visitor numbers or were there extenuating circumstances which either boosted or limited visitors?
- Please provide names of the visitor attractions within a 5 mile radius of your church... (eg, gardens, museums, historic buildings, craft centre/outlet, major footpaths, viewpoints etc)
- Do you have any of the following within a 30 minute walk of your Church (please circle)Pubs Yes No Café Yes No Shop (retail) Yes No Other
- What sort of interest groups exist in your Parish (eg, local history society, gardening group, craft circle, farmers market, special interest groups etc). Write down all the ones you can think of....
- Is access to the Church for visitors through obtaining a key? (please circle) Yes No
- Do you have a steward available to meet and greet visitors when the Church is open? (please circle) Yes No
- Explain the facilities that you have for Disabled visitors
- Do you have a guidebook to the Church? (please circle). Yes No
- Do you have items which you offer for sale to visitors? Yes No
- What sort of events have you held for visitors in the last year?
- Does your Church have a dedicated website? (please circle) Yes No
- Do you have car parking available at the Church (please circle) Yes No
- Say briefly why you think your Church will be attractive to visitors? (eg, bells, furnishings/fittings, architecture, burials, wildlife in Churchyard, exceptional stained glass, etc.)
This is a list of ideas that can make a church welcoming to visitors and tourists. Some will be appropriate for your church, others will not. But if you are positive in your replies you can be sure you are welcoming visitors.
BUT can you be more welcoming? People visit our churches for a variety of reasons but often just because they are there. Can you improve the areas you marked negatively? Are you keen to welcome more visitors? Is your church a member of either the Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group or the Shropshire Churches Tourism Group, two organisations that can help you in this area? There is also a toolkit on the website which helps you work through a positive approach to welcoming visitors. Remember a happy visitor is usually a generous one.
Do not forget to share the information you know about after completing the exercise.
For the toolkit ( a longer version of this page) click here