We have an amazing story to tell of the Christian faith through the centuries. Our Christian heritage is something to be cherished, celebrated and shared. Our buildings encapsulate stories of lives touched by God, of local and personal history and of exceptional creativity that expresses and uplifts our faith. We encourage you to consider how best your church heritage can be part of mission.
Houses of Prayer
Are you open for people to drop in for prayer or quiet reflection? How could you be even more intentional and invitational with supporting and encouraging visitors to pray? Why not check out the Houses of Prayer webpage, which offers support and guidance to do this. You may like to consider joining the Houses of Prayer group, as parishes together seek to learn and appreciatively enquire more.
Special events and Arts projects
See the special events and arts projects section for ideas and guidance
- Finding out about the history and significance of your church. This link offers guidance on writing a Statement of Significance and researching significance. It's also useful to gain feedback from visitors and groups on which stories are of most interest for children and adults.
Sharing your church building
- Sharing Your Building and Finding Partners. A variety of resources by the Church of England
- Open Welcome- A Toolkit for Rural Churches By Germinate/Arthur Rank Centrre
- Working with what you have- a starting point from the National Churches Trust
- Church Visitor Welcome Toolkit. By the Diocese of Newcastle and Durham. This includes a newly designed schools resource to help explore church buildings
- Open Churches Toolkit, by the Diocese of London
- Children's trails. These can be designed by the National Association for Decorative and Fine Art Societies
- Encouraging visitors on a spiritual journey leaflet. This short leafet offers practical ideas to help visitors dwell in a place of worship and consider its true meaning and relevence to their lives
- Good Practice Guidance by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, including oral history, digital, wellbeing and understanding your heritage.
- Graveyards - a haven for wildlife and keen gardeners. A great resource for projects – nature/wildlife projects, green gym (keep fit outdoors gardening), community order projects (probation service).
- Churches Visitor and Tourism Association. The UK's leading body in promoting best practice in welcoming visitors to places of worship
- Visit Britain- 'Visitor Attraction Scheme Quality Standard Guide'
Security for open churches
- Ecclesiastical Insurance encourages churches to be open and offers practical guidance:
Promoting your church
- Get Your Church Noticed. Website and accompanying book that has plenty of practical tips
- Register your church on ExploreChurches. by the National Churches Trust for church buildings open for visitors outside service times
Creative England's Filming in England are encouraging parishes to register their church buildings and grounds for use as potential filming locations. This can be an exciting opportunity, one church in Chester diocese featured in the BBC production of War of the Worlds, and another has been spotted in Coronation Street. Should you receive a request to film at your church, your PCC should be satisfied that the proposed production is appropriate, in line with canon law, will not bring disrepute to the church and will not result in any permanent impact on the church building or churchyard.
Stories worth sharing
Tactile tour. St Matthew's Church, Edgeley, Stockport, developed a multi-sensory tour around the building for people with sightloss, including commissioning a sculpture of the building to touch, see photo.
Towers and Spires. The Diocese of Chester developed a church cycle trail around nine of our churches and Chester Cathedral, called 'Towers and Spires', working in partnership with the cycle charity, Sustrans, Cheshire Active and Cheshire West and Chester Council.