Talk to your community

For your project to be successful, it should answer a real need in your community.

We can help you find out exactly what people want from their church.

A busy Camden High Street during the day

Put together a profile of your community

You need to build up a picture of the people who live within your church’s parish boundaries. Are they:

  • Young families, older people or mature couples?
  • Unemployed, professionals or people working in low-skilled local jobs?
  • Is the parish in the commuter belt?
  • Who is around during the daytime?
  • What type of housing is there and is there enough affordable housing?

Next, collect information on local organisations and services:

  • Where is your church located compared to housing and other community spaces or groups doing outreach work?
  • What does your community already have? (e.g. faith buildings, shops, business services, village hall, etc).
  • What services or activities already exist?
  • What other community buildings are there?
  • What services are missing? What would the community like to see? What would make life better and easier for them?
  • Do you know of plans for new housing or other changes in your area? Contact your Local Authority Research Team to find out

Find information on your local demographics

Talk to people

If you want to know what people think of the existing services and if they have any ideas, then you need to ask them.

How you do this depends on the size of your parish. But talk to as many people as possible.

You can also use these activities to recruit new volunteers with specific skills. Get them involved right from the start.

Questionnaires
Chat to people
Publicity
Suggestion boxes
Community days or festivals
Organise an event at the church

Other groups you should talk to

Don’t duplicate and don’t try to compete with existing activities. That’s a waste of resources. Reach out and work with other groups.

Speak to:

  • Your own parish or town council
  • Community users of your church
  • Local groups and organisations
  • Local services
  • Community buildings in your area
  • Faith groups
  • Local businesses

Try getting involved with the development of a local plan. If you are involved, then the church will be included!

Analyse the results

You’ve collected all this information and feedback from your community. Now you need to go through it and see what people have suggested.

Are there any common themes or solutions?

Write up the results in a formal report and put it on your website. And don’t forget to keep in touch with people to let them know how the project is going and how they can get involved.

Find out more about analysing your results

Case studies

Next steps

Want more help?

Creative uses for your building

Find out what other churches are doing to support their community

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Find community-led organisations near you

Join the national network of community-led organisations

What consultation method is best for you?

Ask your local Council for Voluntary Service for advice