• Communication isn’t the same as evangelism, but we can’t help people understand God’s love for them if they don’t know who God is.
  • Communication won’t make your crib service, summer fete or flower festival a success, but no-one will come unless you tell them about it.
  • Communication doesn’t make your church grow, but your church won’t grow without it.

We need to tell people about God and his church, because fewer than ever people know about them. When people think of the church, we’re seen as traditional, establishment, old-fashioned, safe and declining. But mostly, people don’t think about us at all. Over the past 50 years, there’s been a decline in the numbers of people coming to church, and a rise in people who are religiously unaffiliated. This has led to a decline in religious literacy – people just don’t know much about God and his church.

And if we’re not telling the people in our communities about God and his church, no-one else is. On these pages, you’ll find help on how to make the most of the tools you have at hand to share these stories: noticeboards, magazines or newsletters, websites, social media, and your local media.

But it’s also worth thinking strategically about communication. Below are three worksheets you can use with your PCC or communications steering group to think about how you share your churches stories.

On the first sheet “What are our church(es) stories?” try thinking about the most important features of your church. Jot down the bits you’re most proud of. If someone moved to your parish and asked you what your church was like, what would you tell them? Try refining these thoughts down to the most important three points – perhaps your church is welcoming, friendly, and peaceful. Although you know those three points, people in your community may not! Could you make sure all your communication and publicity includes those three points?

On the second sheet, think about the resources your church has to share its stories. What story does your noticeboard, magazine or newsletter, website, social media pages, and local media currently tell about your church? What could it be like? And what resources - time, people, and money - do you need to make that happen? There’s more information on how you can use your communications tools here: noticeboards, magazines or newsletters, websites, social media, and your local media.

The third sheet invites you to think about strategically about the times of the year you will focus on communicating stories and inviting people to church. The five times of year on the sheet are just examples – you may think of others. But when time and money can be short, it can be useful to pick a few times in the year when you can plan a big communications campaign to share the stories of your church.

If you need any advice or help, please contact the Diocesan Communications Manager on 01904 699530 or comms@yorkdiocese.org.

Further resources: