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Reform Magazine | October 22, 2019

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How churches get noticed

How churches get noticed

Don’t take it for granted! The humble church noticeboard can make or break a church’s message. Andy Jackson sees the pitfalls and potential

Many years ago, I edited a magazine about wedding dresses. I know a lot about jacquard prints, silk dupioni, polyester dupioni, ballgowns, A-lines and boned bodices.

The magazine ran an annual awards ceremony, and one year I was called by an irate bridal shop owner complaining that her business hadn’t been shortlisted.

When I had visited the shop a few months earlier, I noticed a piece of brown, water-stained wallpaper hanging off a wall which was visible from the shop window. The owner told me there had been a flood in the upstairs flat and that the wallpaper would be replaced.

When a mystery visitor arrived a few months later, the wallpaper was still hanging off the wall for all to see. They had got so used to it that they took the wallpaper for granted. They had forgotten to consider what impression was being made by people going past the shop and into it.

When this was revealed to the owner, she asked a friend who had not been to the shop to film it from the potential customer’s standpoint. She watched that video and the repairs started soon after.

In our places of worship – where those beautiful weddings dresses go down the aisle as couples start to live in holy matrimony – do our noticeboards show our hanging bits of wallpaper? Or do they offer a clear welcome and invitation?

One of my favourite walks is from Cambridge station to Westminster College. It takes you through the heart of the city, passing cafes, shops, restaurants, houses, flats, more shops, colleges and churches. A multitude of denominations set out their service times, but only two get their signage right…

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the October 2019 edition of Reform

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