Kingsteignton Chapel is about to throw open its doors – all day every day – inviting people to come in and use the space for quiet contemplation, prayer, refelction or just an escape from the madding crowd. Free tea and coffee will be available and a little meeting space for folk to use for quiet meet-ups. It’ll be unstaffed – maybe sometimes church folk will be around using the space themselves – other times, not.
It’s a very simple, uncomplicated venture – we won’t be doing much other than making sure the door is unlocked, there are tea and coffee supplies, a nice prayer-station has been set up and the place is at least tidy!
But it made me look at the information on display – until now, targetted at those who are already part of the place, or who are there when the church is meeting on a sunday morning – that’s the only time you can get in!
I am often dismayed at the things churches choose to use their notice boards and spaces for. Our ancestors poured their very best into commissioning stained glass, paintings, statuary and intricate carving – using the very best artists – to get across a message about who God is and how we might respond.
Yet we have retreated into lame posters about coffee mornings and last year’s Christmas services. Very rarely do I find in any church – mine included – any serious attempt to say anything meaningful about what it is all about.
I shifted the internal notices (rotas etc.) onto one discrete noticeboard in a tucked-away corner – and cleared the most prominent board that would be most obviously seen by visitors. And I reckon I can fit four A4 posters on there easily.
That’s the easy bit!
But what to say? On four A4 posters. What message have we to offer?
Well – that was my afternoon’s work today – I’ll show you what I came up with. I have no doubt that some of you will be outraged by what I have NOT said – maybe by what I HAVE said – I can live with that (and I am happy to hear feedback!) – but before you pull the trigger…
How would you use the space on four A4 posters? What would you want a visitor to see?
My intention is that we will write new sets for different seasons – and we will have A3 versions in the hall (used by many non-church groups) – but these are the first…