Pre Arrival

PRE ARRIVAL
This includes:
• A Promotional leaflet
• A Website
• Approach signs
• Car park
• Church notice board
• Churchyard management

Many people decide to visit a Church whilst still at home. As a result it is important that they are able to find basic information relating to the Church, its facilities and opening times prior to their arrival. 

Have a promotional leaflet.

It is good practice for Churches to have a small promotional leaflet which provides visitors with similar information to that provided via a website. This could include opening arrangements, location, service times, points of interest, event information, location details (map) etc.
This leaflet could be in addition to any guidebook that the church produces, and should be aimed at ‘whetting the appetite’ of potential visitors by providing them with a glimpse of the points of interest available at the Church (come and see the….come and relax in…etc.) It could be an A4 black and white or colour folded sheet.
The Tourism Project produces an advice sheet on leaflet design and production (Advice Sheet 6 Leaflet Design Hints and Tips), which you may find it useful to refer to when producing, leaflets of this kind. The leaflet should be produced to the highest quality possible on your budget and the front cover should be colour so as to compete with other leaflet for the visitor’s attention.

Have a website.

An increasing number of people have access to and are familiar with using the internet as a means of finding out information about places to visit.
Of greatest importance is the presence of opening times and arrangements, service  arrangements, points of interest, disabled access details, event information, the Church’s policy towards group visits, together with details of a point of contact where more detailed or personal requirements and questions can be answered, and details on how to find the Church.

 

A person from within the Church should have responsibility for making sure
that information that appears on the Internet regarding the Church is
maintained and up-to-date.

 

Colourful photographs of the Church add interest to a website. Visitors and tourism are important not only for the Church but for the economic prosperity of the whole community. References and links to other attractions (local pub, village shop, historic property, etc|) help to extend the visitor’s stay.
Similarly the website could be linked to and from national church-related websites and more local tourism related sites, for example:- 

the Churches Tourism Association   www.churchestourismassociation.info ;

Church directories such as Find A Church   www.findachurch.co.uk;

the Open Churches Trust (www.openchurchestrust.org.uk);

the Churches Conservation Trust (www.visitchurches.org.uk);

your local council website, your local tourism association website, other attractions, accommodation providers and eating places in the area.

Approach Signs.

Wherever possible the Church should be signposted from all main approach roads. Ideally the sign should be a traditional ‘brown sign’ (highlighting an attraction or point of interest). However the rules and regulations surrounding these signs may mean that they are an impractical
solution for some Churches.
If a ‘brown’ sign is not possible then it may be possible to liaise with the local Council or Highways Authority to obtain a normal ‘white’ sign. Failing either of these options talk to a local landowner who has land bordering the Church’s approach roads, it may be possible to come to some arrangement with regard to locating a handmade or commissioned signpost in a suitably located tree or field. Whatever sign your Church has it needs to be located in a position which gives visitors ample warning of a turning and should be clearly visible and not obscured by vegetation or buildings.

Car Park.

Being able to park easily and access the Church and churchyard is very important for a lot of Church visitors.
It is good practice to provide a means to ‘mark’ car parking bays so that the best possible level of use can be got from any parking area. This is especially pertinent for times when special events are being held at the Church and a larger volume of visitors is expected. If it is possible and appropriate to mark parking bays in the car park permanently with white paint, do so. If your car
park does not have a consolidated surface making this impossible place small laminated signs at the front of each ‘bay’. ‘Car parking bay 1’, ‘Car parking bay 2’ and so on. It is also good practice to specify one bay close to the entrance for disabled usage.
Many Churches welcome coach parties to special events. The car park should clearly specify where the coaches should park or there should be a clearly displayed notice which provides coach drivers with the information that they need to drop-off and return (details on suitable off-site locations to sit and wait are very useful). If the Church car-park is located away from the Church a
small sign in the car-park should inform visitors of directions to the Church.

Churchyard management

Ideally the churchyard should have an attractive, cared for appearance with conservation areas and
churchyard interpretation; gravestones made safe
Source of Information: Caring for God’s Acre: Contact: 01568 611154; info@cfga.fsnet.co.uk

Checklist

Website

*Does the Church have its own website?
*Does the Church keep its pages on the Diocesan website up-to-date?
Has someone been allocated responsibility for keeping web information current?
*Do your internet pages contain information about opening arrangements, service arrangements, who to contact for further information, disabled access facilities, group visits, a contact for obtaining further details and details of how to find the Church?

*Does the Church’s own website link to and from the Diocese Website?
*Does your website have links to other useful sites, e.g. CTA, Open Churches Trust etc?
*Does a link to your website appear on other websites? E.g. local council, local tourism  association and other attractions, B&B’s etc.

Leaflet

*Is the leaflet professionally produced?
*Is the leaflet of a manageable size?
*Is the leaflet clear and to the point?
*Is the front of the leaflet in colour?
*Does the leaflet have a photograph or image of the Church or an interesting aspect of the Church?
*Does the leaflet provide basic information such as opening times and arrangements, events, & service details?
*Does the leaflet show contact details (telephone, website & email?)
*Does the leaflet have details of how to find the Church (a map)?
*Does the leaflet ‘whet’ the appetite by hinting at what there is to see and do?

Car Parking

*Are the parking ‘bays’ in your car park clearly marked?
*Have you allocated a space for less able visitors?
*Is coach parking or drop-off clearly visible?
If direction signs are needed are they clearly visible?

Church Notice Board
*Does the Church have a notice board sized sign adjacent to the Church grounds entrance?
*Does this sign have ‘welcome’ printed on it?


 


A Better Visitor Experience
Webpage icon Arrival
Webpage icon Other services
Webpage icon Other sources of information
Webpage icon References
Webpage icon The Visitor Experience