Over 15 million visitors come to Cumbria each year. Many visitors are drawn by Cumbria’s special landscapes but there is a huge opportunity for churches and chapels to promote their sites as part of Cumbria's cultural experience. The welcome and interpretation in churches are important to visitors, whether they be tourists, local residents including school children or pilgrims. In this section we have listed the help available to get your welcome right, to develop a faith trail and promote your church. See below recommended resources, organisations to help promote your church, training, tourism initiatives to link with and how to welcome children.
Resources to assist with improving your welcome
Organisations to help you publicise and promote your church
- Visit Cumbria: has the most comprehensive information about visiting Cumbria’s churches run by a volunteer in Cumbria. Most places of worship are covered, and if yours is not then you can submit information and photographs via the site and it will be added. When you look at your own church's entry, you can check how many people have viewed it. If information is missing you can provide it for inclusion.
- Cumbria Tourism- the local Tourist Board: Individual churches can register with Cumbria Tourism without charge. The information provided will be available in Tourist Information Centres (locally and nationally), kiosks and, for larger churches, on the Visit Britain (the national tourist board) website. The registration form is downloadable here. At present there is a fee of £50.00 plus VAT per annum per church to become a member of Cumbria Tourism Visitor Destinations. Membership guarantees listing on www.go-lakes.com, the official Cumbria Tourist Board website.
- Church Edit run seminars open to all ministers, church administrators and those wanting to use the web effectively for their church.
- See our tips on Marketing Your Church
- Promote your events on our Church Directory. To get started, click here.
Training seminars on visitor welcome
CTfC coordinates local training for church council members and friends of churches on the following subjects:
See our events page for forthcoming seminars or contact us with requests for training.
Tourism Initiatives to link with
- Heritage Open Days is an annual event organised by the Civic Trust each September, and takes place on the Thursday to Sunday on the second weekend of September each year (12-15 Sept, 2013). It is well publicised locally and nationally and provides a unique opportunity to encourage people to visit your church building.Registration for Heritage Open Days is straightforward and takes place between March and May each year.
- The annual Ride and Stride event provides an excellent way to promote your church, raise funds and create and encourage visitors. This is always on the second saturday of September from 10am to 6pm. If you will be stewarding the church, your volunteers will be able to welcome people participating in both events.
- Sacred sites are also encouraged to apply for and achieve the Place of Interest Quality Assurance Scheme (PIQAS), which has replaced the NW Marque of Excellence. A number of Cumbrian sacred sites have already achieved this.To find out more click here.
Churches Tourism Association (CTA) is England’s leading body for faith heritage tourism,dedicated to enhancing the experience of those who visit churches. Visit their website, particularly their resources section which has examples of good practice for churches seeking to develop their visitor welcome, developing websites, trails, heritage interpretation, events, art and much more.
A visit to a church can cover a number of areas of the school curriculum such as art, design, history and of course RE.
- The Churches Conservation Trust has published 'Exploring Churches' - a book for children of all ages, for teachers and parents which contains resource and activity sheets that can be photocopied. To get a copy (£5), go to the CCT website here and Divine Inspiration also has tips on preparing for school visits.
- Cumbria Wildlife Trust also has a range of educational resources for visits to churchyards as part of their Wildlife in Sacred Places project.
- Resources for Children. Southwell & Nottingham Diocese have produced an excellent Education Resource Pack for Key Stage 1 & 2. You can ask for a free copy or download a copy from their website.
- Church Recorders and Children's Church Trails:The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) has developed Children's Church Trails to encourage children and their parents to explore the history and artifacts in churches. The aim is to let children enjoy and feel at home in a church perhaps for the first time. For details see the NADFAS website.
- See Beyond Church Mice resources above (under 'Training Resources' on this page).