Being inclusive and relational is part of our DNA as a church (a key area in our VISION 2020). Part of this means ensuring that coming along to St Bart’s is a welcoming experience for every person. Ensuring everyone is welcomed requires all of us to be involved in welcoming (not just those on roster). With this in mind, there’s a few simple things that we can do: Pray: As part of your prayer preparation before coming along to a service, pray that God will help you connect with someone new and that they will be made to feel welcomed.
Wear your name tag: If everyone wore their nametag, then that would alleviate any fears of whether or not a person is a visitor. If you don’t have a nametag (or it’s lost), please see one of the welcomers at the door to the auditorium and they can place an order for you. Alternatively, contact the parish office.
Come early if possible: Often visitors or people here for the first time come early. If you’re able to come early too then that creates a great opportunity to have a chat and give them a great St Bart’s welcome.
Try sitting in a place to help new people feel more comfortable: Assist the ushers by filling from the far side of the church and sitting in the centre of each row to leave vacant seats at each end.
Resist the urge to chat with only people you know: I know this is so hard because everyone loves one another so much, however it is really important that we actively look for people who might be new (that’s why Small Groups are so important). Don’t worry if you can’t remember if you’ve met them before - better to make that mistake than for someone to be left all alone. A simple, “Hi, I’m [Name] have we met before?”, is a great conversation starter.