He said: “Proper coff ee and jam doughnuts or croissants after services could be off ered to encourage people to stop and chat. Here are a few other ideas you could discuss with your PCC.
• Run an “any questions” or “hot potatoes” event - even better with real hot potatoes.
• Pets’ service. Do a quick poll to fi nd out how many of your church members have pets and extend the invitation to the whole community.
Richard Jackson diocesan adviser for mission
He said: “Prayer changes things so do more of it. Also:
• Never respond to anything until you’ve heard both sides of the story.
• Trust your vicar - they probably have.
• Don’t share things “just between these four walls” as they have a nasty habit of coming back to bite you.
• Think the best of people. Even those you violently disagree with are probably motivated by the good.
• Your worship style preference isn’t very important - remember that in discussions with your brothers and sisters.
• Church is not about what you get out of it, it’s about what you put into it for Christ’s sake.
• Doing the right thing will not always feel good, but do it anyway.
• Doing what Jesus wants really is more important than anything else.”
• Run a wedding fair. Do it as a group or deanery event. Look at the businesses in your community - catering, fl orists and so on - and invite them to take a display stand.
• Run a servers’ training evening for teenagers then make sure they get put on the rota, fi rst with an experienced adult, then fl ying solo.
• Encourage your church members to stand for election for diocesan synod and help shape the future of church communities.
Finally, the communications team believe all parishes should have a communications health check. Invite them to a chapter or deanery synod meeting or act on some of the following:
• Let us know about interesting things or people in your parish. Encourage people to share their faith story.
• Refresh your parish magazine – check out page 19
• Subscribe to the Chichester Magazine - see page 4 for subscription form. Appoint a mission minded distributor and make sure you always have a spare copy in church or your community café.
• Forward the diocesan e-bulletin to your church members or print off a copy for those without
• Is your church signage and notice board in need of a little TLC?
• How welcoming are you? What do you look like from the outside?
• Appoint a welcome offi cer. Make sure that new people are being welcomed and off ered refreshments
• Register your church with the A Church Near You website - and keep your details and events up to date. Churches say this does actually increase enquiries.
• Make use of your local radio. Off er them interviews relating to church activities.
• We value your feedback and ideas so please tell us what would help, what works and what does not.
Alastair Cutting Vicar of Henfield and member of General Synod
the communications department
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