A key element of building a missionary parish is the welcome you offer to those who walk through your door, as well as to your regular parishioners.
At St Anthony of Padua in Headington, Oxford they have produced a parish guide for those who want to know more. It includes contact details, information on parish groups and the parish vision. It also includes details for those who are visiting from the nearby hospital or those needing the priest to visit.
See: http://www.stanthonyofpadua.org.uk/ and click on the “Parish Guide” to download.
Have a think of your own parishes and what a parish guide might look like. I read somewhere recently that people tend to make a second visit to a church if the following three things happen:
- Receive a warm welcome.
- Have all the appropriate books/sheets for Mass.
- Are able to let someone know that they are new to the parish (ie have contact details or are able to leave their own details)
Please let me know of any other examples you have of a welcome pack or guide!
I recently spoke to the couple who head up the welcome ministry at St Anthony’s – you can hear what they have to say in the linked podcast: https://evangbrumuk.podiant.co/