SCTG Newsletters

 Newsletter Spring 2017.

Annual General Meeting and collection point for new brochure.

THE AGM iHAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL 19TH APRIL.  THE VENUE AND TIME WILL BE THE SAME.  We meet at St Eata’s Church in Atcham, which is opposite Attingham Park, a National Trust attraction. We will meet at 10.30 am for an 11am start and aim to finish at 1pm. The biggest attraction will be the new brochure, for which you should have returned your details and picture already! A rough idea of who is coming would be helpful for the provision of refreshments. Numbers from each member Church are not restricted. Our 1pm finish could mean a lunch at The Mytton and Mermaid, the hotel next door to the church, or a stroll across the road to Attingham Park if you are an NT member.

Let Anni Holden know if you are coming at secretary@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk

Website visitors just keep growing

The Group’s website is attracting more and more potential visitors. Web manager, Anne Pilsbury says that numbers just keep rising. “We know that online information is an essential part of what visitors expect when planning their holidays,” said Anne. “We attracted nearly a quarter of a million people in 2016 which gives you some idea how important it is that we keep pages fresh attractive and up to date. We expect to see that figure grow year on year. Member Churches can send information for their page on the website about their historic buildings, special features and, as importantly, up to date information about what is happening in their churches today.”

Click the link www.discovershropshirechurches.co.uk and have a look at the site and what others have added to their pages.

SCTG Facebook Page

We are working on a new Facebook page and should have news of it ready for the AGM (see above)

Learning Coach Trip

We are working on another day – we are considering dates in June when we hope to have a sunny day – following on from the success of last year when we visited Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Coalbrookdale and Wroxeter, with lunch included and a pick up point where we can park until returning at the end of the day. Roughly 10am until 4pm, it will be a chance to learn from other places and the other people on the coach. We are hoping to keep the price at £25 per head.

Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group Learning Coach Trip 26 th April 2017

Following on from the success of our 2 coaches last year to Berrington Hall and other Herefordshire churches, HCTG is currently working on a trip to several churches in the Golden Valley. Everyone who attended previously gave very positive feedback and we all agreed we had learned a lot from other organisations. It will be a similar set up with ideas you can use at you church or help to give you a bigger idea of what visitors want and expect. We hope to keep the price as before at £25 which includes coach, guided tours and lunch.

Shropshire members are welcome to join this trip too and if you have never been to the Golden Valley I can promise an excellent day out. To book contact: annicalver@gmail.com

Handy Hints for happy visitors

We have a volunteer church to host a half day happening for members. This first one will be in Shrewsbury Unitarian Church, High Street Shrewsbury, a church with an interesting history, and one many of you are unlikely to have been inside. Now is your chance. The event on 10 th May from 10am until 12.30 will be low key, with practical ideas and suggestions that could work in your church. Two people will be welcome from any member church at no cost. Contact secretary@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk to sign up. Names of people and churches and contact details are all we require. We would like to hear from other potential host churches in other parts of the County.

 

 

Newsletter Autumn 2016

New SCTG Brochure 2017/2018

You will be receiving a separate mailing asking you to fill in the details needed about your church. It will be 50 words drawing attention to the one thing that might attract visitors to your church. It will also be about parking, toilets, opening hours etc. The other thing will be a high resolution picture of your building or one of its features. I1.2 megs) 

. We plan to have the brochure ready for collection at the AGM in March 2017.

Advertisements for Brochure

If you know anyone, business or organisation that might like to advertise in the brochure for a reasonable price, please let us know. It will help defray costs and we have already been asked to take a very appropriate one. We print 40,000 brochures

Contact: secretary@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk

Brochures in your churches

Always make sure you have copies of your brochures in your churches and in local tourist attraction too (eg. local pub or other eating places). If you need more brochures – and you will get visitors at half term and Christmas as well as at other times all year - then contact   brochure@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk   and we can arrange delivery/collection. Do not keep them if you are low, the important thing is that visitors get them in their hands.

Website

This just keeps getting better and you do not need to worry what size the pictures are. You can just send them to   office@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk   and Anne Pilsbury, our excellent webmaster will add them and any other information you want to your church page on the site. Not limited by word count you can tell everyone lots about your church, history, architecture, monument and graveyard, not forgetting something about the church of today!  

Advertise your fundraisers special services and events too.

Handy Hints for happy visitors

We are looking for volunteer churches to host a half day happening for members next year. If we get several around the county we can hold these 2 hour bonus days in travelling distance of lots of people, making them as local to you as possible. These will be low key and low or no cost, practical ideas and suggestions that could work in your church.  Host churches would just provide a cup of tea for us all and show off their lovely building too! We anticipate 2-4pm or 10-12am get-togethers, first one sometime early in 2017 or April for brighter weather. We would like to hear from host churches now for planning purposes.

Contact   secretary@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk

Low cost ideas for visitors

You will find an A4 sheet with the Lord’s Prayer x 4 on the sheet. Download this pdf onto light coloured card or ordinary paper, laminated and cut so visitors can take one away with them. Put them next to the Visitor Book, an essential for all churches.   Name/ address/email/comment. How many visitors signed yours in 2016?

 
 
SCTG NEWSLETTER Summer 2016
Welcome to our nine new member churches.  Work will start on the new brochure in September, to go to the printer in January 2017, ready for the new tourist season from Easter 2017. We are getting towards the middle of the holidays when visitors will hopefully be pushing open your doors.

 

Brochures If you need more brochures for this year, 2016 and if new members would like some to advertise new membership and encourage visitors to other churches, then ask and arrangements can be made. The important thing is to get the brochures on display with a small sign indicating they are free and suggesting visitors pick one up and take it with them. The contact email is brochures@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk Don’t forget to clearly identify where you are in the County.
You may find brochures in your local Visitor Information Centres too.

 

Brochure 2017/2018 We should have a contact for your church through the membership system but please send name and email of anyone else from your church who can be a point of contact. We often have 2/3/4 names for churches which can be useful. Send details of any other people to me, Anni Holden  secretary@discovershopshirechurches.co.uk.  You will be contacted in September to provide information for the next brochure. The description can be 50 words and it is good to send a high resolution picture for inclusion too. (If you do not know what high resolution means then speak to one of the enthusiastic camera people you know  or check it through Google.)  You will need to provide address and postcode for your church and some other information about facilities.  Watch this space and keep check on website

 

Website Every member church has an entry on the website and statistics show that tourists are using websites increasingly for their information when planning to visit an area. It is essential that you tell visitors as much as you can in an interesting and colourful way. Information and pictures can be sent to our excellent website editor Anne Pilsbury office@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk   and she will do the magic to ensure your page is looking good. She cannot conjure up information for all the churches herself, or all the pictures of all your church has to offer but will gladly use what you send. You can send as much as you want!
Your Events We have an area for all of your church events which can be advertised as part of your membership, so do use it. Send details of what is happening at your church tooffice@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk and she will add it to the site.

 

Resources for Parishes Discussion at the AGM threw up all sorts of ideas that you could use to make your church  attractive and informative and to engage with  your visitors. We will be developing an area on the website with ideas as they arise. If you have any ideas that work well in your church please contact Anni Holden: secretary@discovershopshirechurches.co.uk

 

Parish Magazines You may like to remind everyone that your church is a member of SCTG and what that means so below you will find a paragraph for your magazine editor. Reminding others and asking for their help and encouragement means it is not just YOU doing it alone. So copy and paste and add your name. Sometimes ideas come from the most unlikely sources!

 

SCTG Shropshire Churches Tourism Group. This church is a member of this group and we want our building to be as welcoming as possible, so that visitors feel welcome even if the church is empty. We also aim to give them the best information we can and include more details about any other local tourism attractions. If you have any ideas for how we might do this better please contact our SCTGrepresentative: [Add your churches representative]

 NEWS for SCTG Members Winter 2016

Annual General Meeting March 2016 and brochure top up

The SCTG AGM will be held on Wednesday 9th March at Meole Brace Church near Shrewsbury from 10am to finish by 1pm at the latest. It’s a chance to top up your brochure needs and talk about new membership for 2016/2017(see below). We hope to have a speaker too but more of that as soon as we have sorted it!

Membership 2016 and 2017 

You will need to have your money ready for the new 2 year membership which will be payable this year 2016! We are holding the cost at £60, which includes entry on the SCTG website www.discovershropshirechurches.co.uk and in the new SCTG Brochure. The next brochure will be produced in the second year of membership 2017. To join or rejoin contact   secretary@discovershropshirechurches.co.uk

Tourism Day Oct 2016

Following excellent feedback from the 2 Learning Coach Tours we ran in Autumn 2015 (and requests to run some more) we are working on a day conference in October 2016. It would encompass expanding some of what we learned on those trips. We would look at how we identify and tell our stories and how we interpret our church buildings. We could also look at more active marketing of our churches. The day will also include  workshops on funding and a guide to grant applications which all of you want and/or need. We have started work on this. Do let us know if there are other things you want to know about.

Volunteers needed

We really need someone who could be our new Membership Secretary  We are extremely sorry that we are losing the services of Lorna Taylor as our very able Membership Secretary.  

We are in the excellent position that we currently find ourselves because of the amazing work that Lorna has done.  She is staying on the committee and is prepared to help any new person. Could that person be you? It is one of those roles that requires a lot of commitment for 3 months every 2 years so not too demanding when boiled down. You will need to be computer literate and have knowledge of Microsoft Excel.

You will find a brief description of what is required of the job and the person  HERE on the SCTG website 

The second person we need is a Brochure Production Manager. Lorna Taylor, once again, must be thanked for her previous work on the last 3 brochures. The templates are in place but entries need sorting and expanding and added to before layout and printing by the company we choose to use. The production can be helped and made easier by all members sending their brochure entries in as soon as asked and by the cut off date. (That information to follow once new membership is sorted out). Again you will find out more abourt what is needed  HERE on theSCTG Website

 

New Webspider!

We have a new person in charge of the SCTG website. She is Anne Pilsbury, who lives in Whittington near Oswestry. She was at the inspiring day at Leominster Priory and following that, made several changes to the welcome at her church, St Oswald’s in Oswestry.  She runs her own church website www.stoswaldsoswestry.org.uk which is also a ChurchEdit, site like the SCTG one, and also runs the Churches Together in Oswestry District website, http://together.ourchurchweb.org.uk/oswestry. She is also building a website from scratch, which is a directory of churches in Shropshire with where to find the best online information about each. Fiona Pearson and Anne have been in charge of the northern sections of the SCTG website for some time. As you can tell from this she is very talented. She would like to incorporate more news from the two dioceses and also from individual churches so over to you  Her email is annepilsbury@gmail.com

Let’s all help Anne make the website more appealing to visitors with lots more information about YOUR church. Send her the stuff. She has already added a News section.

Our thanks to Lorna Taylor for all her hard work setting everything up previously.

 

NEWS for SCTG Members September 2015

 
Coach Tours for Learning
How do we 'manage' tourism and tourists through our churches? What can we do to make our visitors happy? How much information do we need to give them? Are there practical things we can do in our buildings? We have just had a great day out in Herefordshire and have a coach booked for Shropshire on 1st October 2015. We will learn how others manage tourism, to get practical ideas to implement at local level - especially around local 'stories' and to share ideas on improved visitor welcome. And how do we look after volunteers? All knowledge is on our coach! A good day out too! Parking is available in Church Stretton at the Railway Station or in the town close by. The cost is £25 per person which covers expertise, entry to venues, refreshments, lunch & coach. Book here Coach Trips for Learning. Or telephone Anni 01432 2373342 if you need more information. We have people booked up already but feel more of you would really enjoy this especially after boarding the Herefordshire coach!
 
Tour 2 - 1st October 2015
9.45 leave Church Stretton Railway station SY6 6PG
10.30 arrive at Museum of Iron, Coalbrookdale - coffee on arrival
10.45 Talk and tour with Paul Gossage who has masterminded the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust's marketing strategy for the last 14 years
12.00 arrive Coalbrookdale Church
1pm lunch at Wroxeter Hotel 
2.25 Wroxeter church
3.00 leave Wroxeter Church
3.10 arrive Atcham Church - tea & coffee
4.30 Church Stretton SY6 6PG
 
(This tour was great! Ed.)
 
Airmen’s graves from WW 2 at St Eata’s Church, Atcham. 
This ancient church, which dates from Saxon times (the present church was built in 1072) is in a peaceful setting by the River Severn near Attingham Hall, so it is surprising to find graves of five Airmen who gave their lives in WW2. These brave young men came from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and 2 from the UK; but no-one knew any more about them until Mr Charles (Charlie) Grant, a member of the congregation, did extensive research.  
They were based at RAF Atcham, an airfield on the edge of Attingham estate, which was operational throughout the war. St Eata’s was the local church. Three of the airmen were killed whilst flying Spitfire fighter planes and two died in other incidents. The youngest, from Canada, was only 21 when he died in a Spitfire. Their stories, and more details of the Airforce at Atcham, can be read in a small book produced by Charlie.  
‘When you go home, Tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, We gave our today.’
There is more about this atmospheric church, a member of SCTG, on our website, with a link to St Eata’s website.  A visit to St Eata’s is included in the Learning Day coach tour on 1st October. See above

St Chad’s Church Shrewsbury Christmas Tree Festival
St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury is hosting its annual Christmas Tree Festival this year from 12th to 19thDecember. There will be a daily Christmas music programme by school & college choirs, involving brass bands, the church organ and other musical groups. Visitors will be able to enjoy seasonal refreshments and the opportunity to purchase some Christmas gifts.  Over 40 Christmas trees will be decorated and illuminated and placed round the circumference of the nave and round the edge of the gallery. These trees are sponsored, decorated and illuminated by a number of local businesses, schools, colleges and charitable organisations. The Christmas trees will remain in place for all the services and concerts through to the New Year.
Our fourth annual ‘Christmas Tree Festival’ is linking up with the first ever Shrewsbury ‘Christmas Food Fayre’ which will be held in the Quarry Park, adjacent  to St Chad’s Church, on the 12th & 13th December; both events are expected to bring large numbers of visitors to St Chad’s & to the Quarry Park. The Christmas Food Fayre is organised by the same committee who organise the hugely successful Shrewsbury & Ludlow Summer Food Festivals.  
The BBC Radio Shropshire Carol Service will be held at 2 pm on Sunday 13th December in St Chad’s, on the 2nd day of our Christmas Tree Festival.  During the week of the Christmas Tree Festival, some 15 school & college choirs will be participating & singing Christmas music as well as, in some cases, performing dance.
 
Website
http://www.discovershropshirechurches.co.uk/ This website is for you and your visitors so make sure you have lots of information about your church and its surroundings on your page. The website is increasingly the shop window for what we have to show off and share!
You can also add events to the site when you have something special on which visitors would enjoy. Please contact lorna.taylor@btinternet.com or fionapearson@yahoo.co.uk
if you want anything added (Lorna for South, Fiona for North, roughly). Let’s all try and make it as attractive as possible. Please let Lorna or Fiona know if you have a big event planned so we can enter it on the SCTG website.
 
Volunteers Wanted
It is not an onerous task running SCTG. We meet as an executive group 4 -6 times a year and plus the AGM in March. Meetings are usually in Shrewsbury and are pleasant sociable events! It is always good to have new people on board and SCTG has benefitted from this in the years it has existed. If you would like to get involved with us we would be very grateful. The work that needs doing is always better for sharing out between more people. Please let the SCTG Secretary, Heather Jargus, know if you would like to come along to the next meeting on the 2nd December at 2.30pm at Sat Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury. Come and see for yourself and decide after that!
 
STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
Just a reminder for those budgeting for next year – Membership will be due next year so make sure your PCC has it in the 2016 budget (it is a two year fee covering 2016/2017 and will include new brochure, website entry and training/learning days as offered)
 
 
Anni Holden
Press Officer SCTG
Director of Communications
The Palace, Hereford HR4 9BL
01432 373342 or 07889 186316

a.holden@hereford.anglican.org
 

NEWS for SCTG Members June 2015

Brochures

We have the brochures so now it is imperative that we get them ‘out there’! Do not hoard them; get them in a clearly visible place in your church. Make a Corner for Tourists if you can with local information (cafés, B&Bs, crafts etc) and a leaflet about your church too. Can you identify other SCTG members nearby and get together and produce a small flier that tells people where other churches are. Need help? Please talk to Anni Holden, press and marketing person for SCTG. If you need more brochures or do not yet have any please contact Lorna Taylor

Website

http://www.discovershropshirechurches.co.uk/ This website is for you and your visitors so make sure you have lots of information about your church and its surroundings on your page. The website is increasingly the shop window for what we have to show off and share!

You can also add events to the site when you have something special on which visitors would enjoy. Please contact lorna.taylor@btinternet.com or fionapearson@yahoo.co.uk if you want anything added (Lorna for South, Fiona for North, roughly). Let’s all try and make it as attractive as possible.

Cornwall’s Three Saints

We still have some spaces on our Holiday-Pilgrimage to Cornwall in October. Experience aspects of Cornwall you have not seen before. 3rd-9th October, staying at the Best Western Hotel in Newquay. The basic cost is £599, which includes dinner, bed and breakfast, all your tours and coach pick-ups in Shropshire and Herefordshire (Gloucestershire & Exeter as even when people move away they still want to join the group!) Do not be afraid to come on your own as you will soon make friends.

More information, brochure and booking form are HERE

CVTA Annual Conference and meeting

The Churches Visitor and Tourism Association is the national Church Tourism organisation. 

The Annual Meeting of this group will be held this year in SHREWSBURY at St Mary’s Church, the CCT church in the centre of the town. This means as many of you who want to attend can do so easily. It is November 14th and I will send more details as I get them. There is a bus trip and dinner on the Friday too. Save the date!

‘Buddying Up’ Churches

For the Festival of Churches 2013 Jerry Bridgeland pulled together a leaflet all about the churches on Wenlock Edge. It has been very successful. He featured all the churches but emphasised those that were SCTG members. It was a walking trail, bike trail and even a car trail. He got a grant from the Hereford Diocesan Mission Fund for his efforts which covered the printing costs. Trails like this can be very successful and already alluded to under brochures; we want to encourage you to ‘buddy up’ with churches nearby with a view to producing some trail leaflets. If you can identify a small group and then need help with design you can contact Anni Holden for help.

Social Media past and future

I hope those of you who attended either of the 2 half days offered enjoyed them. If there is demand we will organise another session. We are also working towards a Facebook presence and a Twitter account in the future which will spread news of Shropshire’s best churches even further.

 Newsletter  SCTG March 2015

Brochures

The majority of the member churches have now got their brochures. If you are still waiting for yours, please contact Heather Jargus to arrange a convenient collection point. Along with the brochures, is a SCTG membership sign to put up at your church. If for any reason, you have brochures but no sign contact Heather or Lorna above.

Can we ask you to think outside the church and remember to deliver some brochures to local places of interest or B&Bs, guest houses/hotels nearby. And do please ask if you need more brochures. The important thing is to get them out there.

As we have been going round delivering brochures, we are reminded of just how beautiful Shropshire is. And what a wonderful collection of welcoming churches we have. Well worth planning to visit some yourself over the next months.

Social Media for you and your church

3 half days have now been booked for a positive introduction to Social Media. You can use Facebook as a way of attracting people to your church or maybe learning how to do things in 140 characters is what fascinates you. If still a little wary, but really think you should get involved, (if only to keep up with your grandchildren!), then these sessions are for you. The dates and times and venues are as follows:

20 April 9 – 12.30  Rockfield Centre Ludlow 

23 April 2 -  4.30   Meeting Point House, Telford Town Centre

24 April 9 – 12.30 Rockfield Centre Ludlow

There is no charge but a small donation towards expenses would be helpful on the day. These dates are being offered to SCTG and HCTG member churches first.

Please book stating clearly which date you want and the name of your parish by Thursday 2nd April. Email a.holden@hereford.anglican.org

If you would like us to organize an evening or Saturday session please also contact us with a preference

Calendar of events

There is an area on the SCTG website for events via the Calendar. If your church is holding an event then please send the information to lorna.taylor@btinternet.com  

Please check before you press send that you have given ALL the details! 

Lord’s Prayer Sheet

Attached is an A4 sheet with the Lord’s Prayer  X 4 for download. Add your churches name, address and email address/website address to the back, laminate and cut. 

This makes a very simple and cheap giveaway for visitors to your church. Download to coloured paper for extra impact. Leave by the Visitor Book.

Visitor Book

Every member church should have a Visitor Book to collect names and addresses AND emails of our visitors. This gives you some idea about where your visitors come from and a chance to send Christmas Greetings, date of your Flower Festival etc when appropriate. Collecting a database of emails is very useful for this and again very cheap

Waterloo 200

Shropshire has launched Waterloo200 campaign to celebrate the county’s links with Lord Hill. There are two churches directly involved as partners. St. Chad’s in Shrewsbury and Hadnall. The Vicars of both attended the launch.

The press release is below, which also invites people to send other links with Waterloo which we may not know about.

http://shropshire.gov.uk/news/2015/03/shropshire-to-promote-its-links-with-lord-hill-

and-the-200th-anniversary-of-the-battle-of-waterloo/

Shropshire Council is very supportive of SCTG and have asked us to circulate this information. Join in if you can

Recent AGM

It was good turnout for the AGM held this year at St Laurence’s Church in Church Stretton. Bishop Richard Frith certainly made us sit up and listen – a bit of a challenge I think! Thanks to all those who contributed the bakes and cakes. They went down well.