Advice & Guidance

Visitors

There are thousands of beautiful and fascinating churches, chapels, synagogues and temples spread across the country in both urban and rural locations. 

Welcoming signIn some ways, places of worship are such a familiar part of our landscape that it is all too easy to pass them by, but if we can persuade people to stop and visit, they will be rewarded with a wonderfully rich experience.

Some visitors may admire the art and architecture of these buildings and wish to explore their history whilst others may simply enjoy their peace and serenity ~ even the plainest and simplest buildings have something to offer.

For this reason, statistics frequently show us that historic places of worship are the most numerous, most accessible and the most visited of all historic buildings. 

Oban

The Churches Tourism Association is the UK's leading body for promoting best practice in welcoming visitors to places of worship and developing the tourism potential and visitor experience of a unique part of our historical and contemporary sacred heritage. It represents churches, individuals and organisations dedicated to enhancing the experience of those who visit churches and offers a wealth of information and resources to help make all places of worship more accessible and welcoming to visitors.

A few ideas to consider...

A village churchThink about creating or promoting local partnerships between your place of worship and other attractions and places of interest in your local area.  Visit your local tourist information office to discover what's already on offer.

Produce an exciting and user-friendly leaflet about your place of worship with clear instructions about opening times and how to find it. 

Make sure that copies of the leaflet are available in your local tourist information centre, nearby guest accommodation, shops and the local library.

Find out what others are doing in your community.  Are there events or tourist trails that you can join in with?  Alternatively, might it be possible to start your own church heritage trail in partnership with other places of worship in your local area?

Heritage Open DaysGet involved in Heritage Open Days.  Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors and give visitors the chance to discover hidden architectural treasures or enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities. 

 

Further information

The Diocese of St Davids has produced a ‘Ministry of Welcome Toolkit'.  The toolkit covers all aspects of the ministry of welcome including leaflets, signage, churchyard, atmosphere, access, care, feedback and much more.  Download the toolkit from their diocesan website.

St SavaSacred Britain is a new initiative which aims to make churches and places of worship a ‘must see' part of exploring Britain's heritage.  Download the Sacred Britain report.

Divine Inspiration is a Diocese of Coventry initiative to encourage stewards of church buildings to look creatively at how they welcome visitors to their buildings and to tell better, well-researched and more engaging stories to those who visit. 

Their website hosts a number of resources including ‘Ten Top Tips for Welcoming Visitors to your Church', and ‘Producing Better Resources for Visitors to your Church'.

Heritage Inspired works with heritage faith sites, and related buildings across South Yorkshire to increase access to faith heritage sites. It is considered to be a national leader in the field of faith tourism and has produced some inspirational promotional materials and events.

© SPAB 2010