Group 3: Outreach - Welcome and worship

In our group we found that many different factors had brought us to St Alfege’s:

  • knew  someone  already;
  • the location and architecture of the building;
  • the music and form of liturgy;
  • the quality of the sermon;
  • had children who attended Sunday school;
  • newcomer to Greenwich:
  • links with Colfe’s school;
  • new to area, but familiar with our liturgy from other churches;
  • ease of access, familiar environment;
  • came from experience of different  tradition (Buddhism; African, Pentecostal):
  • wanted to try something new;
  • wanted to attend own parish church;
  • newcomer to Greenwich found church had links with Colfe’s school where son attended 

            In reply to the question Did you feel welcome? there was a varied response: some had completed a welcome form but had to make an opportunity for introducing self; those with connections already e.g. in Sunday school felt welcome; some had felt unwelcome, but made it their responsibility to get involved; some were pleased to have a gentle welcome and to get to know others at their own pace

 

Suggestions for action in connection with welcome and wider outreach:

-          identify specific members of the welcoming team at each service; welcomers could offer to take newcomers over to coffee and introduce them to other members of the congregation;

-          continue to offer cards for people to complete, but ensure that there is system to maintain this

-          make the Peace more wide-spread: perhaps the choir might mingle with the congregation (though there could be practical difficulties with this)

-          ensure that up-to-date information about services is available especially when the church is open to visitors

-          have the choir join the congregation for part of the service and have some events which include both choir and congregation

-          make more hymn-books with parts available to the congregation

-          ensure that older members of the congregation are not overlooked – they may be newcomers too: provide some kind of forum for elders (a reminiscence centre?)

-          ensure that we are a more cohesive community:

-          establish groups (e.g. Young wives, Mothers’ Union, prayer groups)

-          Provide bulletin board for those interested in joint ventures to promote them

-          form a Pastoral committee; keep in touch with those who have baptisms, weddings and funerals at St Alfege’s

-          ensure that our services are widely publicised (e.g. in local free papers, by fliers delivered to houses in parish and available for people to give to friends outside the parish; perhaps ask for a Publicity Officer?)

-          raise consciousness of the church in the local community (e.g. explore possibility of ‘St Alfege’ to the name of the DLR station in 2012)

-          host talks and lectures (like the Lenten talks which were of great interest) to bring more people into the church and to communicate the St Alfege ethos

-          Palm Sunday procession/Beating the Bounds/New Year’s Eve service

-          forge links to local Charities: provide manpower and volunteering opportunities

-          Creation Stewardship

Worship

While we don't want to replace what  we  have, some felt there was scope for additional services with a different style: e.g. have a Sunday evening service every week, with choral evensong once a month but a different style on the other weeks (e.g. Taize style, multicultural, occasional non-English speakers/readings); play host to /exchange visits with other churches.