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Welcome to the Discover Churches – Hidden Stories, Open Doors Brand for the
work arising out of the Virtuous Circles Project - Sustainable Tourism for Sustainable
This will be increasingly important in helping to raise the capacity, resilience and
sustainability of churches, post the coronavirus restrictions, to attract additional
donations to churches through offering engaging Hidden Stories, Open Doors
involvement for the day, or short stay visitors in the locality.
One of the aims of Discover Churches, a Heritage Lottery Funded project, is to share
actions and ideas for the mutual benefit of SCTG and HCTG members, new
members or emerging church tourism groups in other areas.
In recent months we have seen the world and our lives transform at an astonishing
pace. Disruption to social, business and cultural life, and digital transformation have
meant that we have all needed to think differently to embrace changes and
innovation that will support success.
A valuable asset of the project is dedicated funding to allow us design workshops
• Encourage curiosity about new ways of doing things
• Inspire and empower
• Encourage the sharing of knowledge, values and experiences to foster the
capacity of everyone involved with welcoming visitors to their church.
Based on the responses from the members survey carried out earlier this year below
is a list of the mentoring opportunities for you to participate in from the comfort of
your home. Yes, you can ‘pick and choose’. To start with, workshops will be short
and focused via Zoom, and as coronavirus restrictions are lifted move towards a
more ‘blended’ approach to include ‘best practice’ visits.
We would love to see you and as many other volunteers from your church as
possible at each workshop. Online sessions can be repeated to meet requirements.

How to book
Workshops bookable via Eventbrite.

Free to HCTG & SCTG Members and £20 for

The first workshop is free to all. 

Workshops & Facilitators
1. Why do people visit churches?


Wednesday 18 th November 10:30 – 12 noon 90 minutes online
Facilitated by the National Churches Trust, and led by Sarah Crossland who has
experience of working with ‘Welcome Host’, Welcome to the Church’, and ‘Taking
England to the World’. This workshop will explore what is church tourism, why
people visit churches as well as the importance of being open, including input
from Ecclesiastical Insurance.

2. Creating the perfect welcome

Friday 20 th November 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by the National Churches Trust and include input from Ecclesiastical
Insurance. The workshop will explore what makes visitors feel welcome, satisfied
and happy when visiting a church? Provide ideas on how to create a welcoming
and secure environment for new visitors.
90 minutes online

3. Footfalls and the effect of visitors on your church building

Wednesday 25 th November 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by the National Churches Trust the workshop will explore why is it
important for people to visit your church, describe the impact visitors have on
the conservation of your church building, but also the benefit of having visitors to
help pay for ongoing repairs and maintenance.
90 minutes online

4. Every church has its own story to tell.

Wednesday 2 nd December 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by Communications and Marketing professional Dominic Harbour
who has a wide range of experience of working with museums, galleries, charities
and cultural organisations including Hereford Cathedral and Pershore Abbey.
This workshop will help you find and develop the story of your church and to
capture the interest of your church visitor.
** Although you can book as little or as many of the workshops as required, we
advise that to enable you to get the best from the workshops, numbers 4, 5 & 6
should be completed together **
90 minutes online

5. Using interpretation to showcase the story of your church

Monday 7 th December 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by Dominic Harbour this workshop will follow on ‘Finding the Stories’.
Using your church story, how would this be best for the visitor to find out all
about your church? The importance of using interpretation and what to include,
with traditional and digital interpretation.
90 minutes online

6. How do visitors find out about visiting your church?

Wednesday 9 th December 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by Dominic Harbour this workshop will look at traditional methods of
marketing material such as advertising in newspapers and parish magazines, but
also using online and digital marketing to encourage different markets.
90 minutes online.

7. Why should churches use Social Media?

Wednesday 6 th January 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by the National Churches Trust This workshop will explain the benefits
of using Social Media – What is Twitter, Facebook & Instagram and how can it help
your church?
90 minutes online.

8. How to use Social Media
90 minutes online.
Wednesday 13 th January 10:30 – 12 noon
Facilitated by Countryscape

9. Telling your Christian story

Monday 18 th January – Time TBC

60 minutes online.

10. Developing Trails and Experiences or How to create your own church

February - Date TBC
Facilitated by Liz Hill, Church Tourism Officer, this workshop will showcase the work
completed on a variety of trails and experiences in Herefordshire and Shropshire as
part of the Discover Churches project. The workshop will also explain how churches
and communities can develop and create their own trail.
90 minutes online.

11. Connecting with the local community

February - Date TBC
Facilitated by Countryscape this workshop will enable you think about local
businesses and organisations and how your church can work together with the
community to increase visitor numbers and donations.
90 minutes online.

12. Welcoming groups and larger parties to your church

February - Date TBC
How can you encourage and manage group visitors? This workshop will be a visit to
a National Trust or English Heritage property that demonstrates best practice for
welcoming groups either by coach, car, bicycle or on foot. Both National Trust &
English Heritage have been welcoming group visitors for many years and are able to
explain how they welcome groups to their properties.
Half Day in Person Visit to a local NT or EH property Spring 2021

Further Workshops and Information
 Welcome Host from Quality in Tourism for 2021.
 Explore Churches ‘Taking Great Photos’ will be shared on our You Tube
Channel once up and running.