Friday, 25 May 2007

Guildford's 'Top Ten things to do' for Back to Church Sunday

From the Diocese of Guildford website, the Top Ten things to do for Back to Church Sunday.

Top Ten Things To Do

1. Now: Pray
Mobilise the church to pray. Pray for the people you would like to invite. Be creative. When the prayer bookmarks/invitations arrive make sure people use them to write down the name of a person they will pray for and will invite.

2. September: Publicise
Publicise Back to Church Sunday. Download a parish magazine article and other images at (click on ‘downloadable resources’). Fill in the blank space on the posters with details of your special service. Why not tell your local paper what you’re doing?

3. September: Invite
Invite people to come along on the day. Ask people to fill in the blanks on the invitations and tear off and deliver one to a friend (do not mass canvas your area, invite your friends!).

4. Back to Church Sunday: Welcome
Welcome people in with a friendly smile. You might like to give out specially designed Back to Church Sunday pew sheets – you can find a cover design at

5. Back to Church Sunday: Consider Disability
Make sure you do not discriminate against those with a disability.

Is your entrance with a ramp already open? Is it clear which way to go if you need level access? Will people know where to sit if they need to use a loop system? Have you thought about someone with a visual impairment? Will part of the service alienate someone because they can’t get to a place due to disability?

6. Back to Church Sunday: Explain Yourself
Make sure you are user friendly. It is one of the worst things to be in the middle of a crowd and not know what is happening. Make sure you communicate to people where you are up to in the service.

Take the opportunity to introduce yourself and others as you go through the service. Don’t assume everyone knows who you are.

Take a few minutes to run through what’s available at the church for those who might not know.

7. Back to Church Sunday: Include
Make sure you are liturgically inclusive. Is your service appropriate for children? Young adults? Older people? Try to make everyone feel that they are part of the service.

8. Back to Church Sunday: Give Space
Make sure there is space during the service for people to say their own prayers to God. People come with different needs, some to say thank you, some for support and some with great burdens. Give people space to pray for themselves. The ‘wish you were here’ message is linked with having a break, a bit of space in a busy life. Why not let people have that space to respond?

9. Back to Church Sunday: Give a balloon
There are balloons this year! How you give them is up to you and depends on the size of your congregation, but they are a great conversation opener.

10. Afterwards: What’s next?
People are sure to want to come again, so make sure they know what’s coming up at church in the next few weeks.

Why not invite your friends to the harvest festival?

Have an Introduction to Christianity course running. There are plenty of courses to choose from and this is a good time of year for people to enrol onto something new.

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