Opening the Box - It's All About the Welcome

Over 100 delegates attend event to discover more about the importance of a good welcome and of creating a truly welcoming culture.

Sue Mitchell spoke to us about the conference "The morning began with a thought provoking keynote address from the Portsmouth communications officer Neil Pugmire, who looked at what a good welcome really does mean .

Delegates were given the opportunity to discover information on how churches can effectively “Market” themselves through better use of websites, social media, creating good literature and reaching new housing. 

'TLG Make Lunch' encouraged parishes to offer “Everyone a seat at the table” by addressing the issue of Holiday hunger when school’s close for holidays.

The value of giving a good welcome to families with under-fives was an important issue, as was making our Baptism services welcoming and interactive for families coming for baptism.  As one delegate said the “The morning has given lots of food for thought!"

Both the Diocesan 'Three Steps to Christenings' initiative and the 'Child Friendly Church Award' have consistently highlighted the need for welcome materials for the families of under 5's. It became apparent that we needed to develop something that would be easy for a church to create and use … so Charlie the Caterpillar welcome basket evolved. It was tested by churches on the Christening initiative and is now being used in a variety of ways, not only as an initial welcome in church but in toddler groups and also used in Baptism preparation and services. With a story written by Bob Hartman, Charlie is an appealing colourful character that wants to discover more about church and faith!

The overall response to the day was very positive. We are hoping to run further workshops on Charlie the caterpillar welcome materials, also introducing a baptism preparation basket in a similar style.

We are also hoping to take Charlie further by using him to introduce the Christian festivals to younger children. Watch this space!"

Links to the resources mentioned above can be found in the links box to the right hand side of the page. 

News & Events

Children's Welcome Resources

We’ve created resources for you to download plus ideas to use to extend a warm and inclusive welcome to children in your church, including Charlie the caterpillar welcome basket here

Other resources

  • View Neil Pugmire’s presentation here
  • The song used in the opening worship was 'Welcome Everybody' by Fischy Music from the album I Wonder why. You can buy it on Amazon here. You can remind yourself of the actions in this video clip here and the lyrics here