Welcome to ‘OUR’ parish

Author: Brian Nash

Published on: 1 June 2018

St Mary’s Church likes to give a Welcome Bag to new people moving into the parish of Watton, as a means of introducing the Church and its activities, enclosing other items to welcome the new residents to the community.

We use two types of bag. The first bag, type A, is given on the day we see a removal van outside a house, or a neighbour or church member tells us that somebody is moving in.

The tote linen bag is printed with the Church logo, address and contact details and contains the following items; An RSV New Testament, box of tea bags, jar of coffee, bag of sugar, a pack of biscuits. A kitchen roll, toilet roll, jay cloths, washing up liquid and a sponge. These items are very useful on the day of moving house.

The second bag, type B, contains again a Bible and either a bottle of wine OR a potted plant, and is  given during the week/s following a move into the parish, should we not have been able to contact the new resident on their moving in day.

Both types of bag also contain a leaflet, updated monthly, concerning the church activities with the Vicar’s contact details, times of services, details of the other churches in the parish ie Methodist, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic. We also enclose a note book, key ring torch, shopping trolley token, all of which have the church website details printed on them and a town guide, bus timetables, details of Doctor’s surgery and Sport’s club.

We prefer that people living in the same road make contact with the new resident, as this provides a link and a friendly face. Should that not be possible, any member of the church who feels able to do so, knocks on the door and says “Hello I’m… welcome to Watton please accept this bag as a welcome from St Mary’s to our town”. If the person receiving is prepared to talk it is great, if not, we give a smile and walk away.

The feedback has been really favourable; they have made a real difference to the welcome of new people to the church and to the community of Watton. If nothing else, it results in the placing of a New Testament in a home and a seed has been sown.

We have instant food for the homeless available at the Church door. We are also a collection point for the foodbank.

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