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St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich

November 3, 2013

St. Peter Mancroft, Norwich

DSCF8809A magnificent church right in the heart of the fine city of Norwich. This church receives many visitors as it is next to the busy market.

DSCF8810From a visitors point of view the first thing to say is that the sign outside which says ‘Church Open’ does entice people inside. There was a steady stream of visitors whilst I was there. Only 27 people had signed the visitors book but that number could be easily multiplied by a hundred I am sure. Visitor’s books are a very unreliable indication of the actual numbers of people visiting.

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A lot of effort has gone into the visitor ministry here. There is a lot of history information available as well as interpretation as to what the fittings and furnishings of a church are used for and signify. We cannot rely on visitors knowing what a font is for for instance. This requires some sensitivity in wording things so as not to be patronising yet to be informative and instructive.

There were several things I really liked here. Some cards were on display for a Bereavement Support Coordinator – an excellent idea. Also some simple prayer cards for visitors to use, as well as some prayer slips to use on teh prayer board – well used as usual.

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There is a Children’s corner set up and there is a votive stand for use as well. A steward was on duty. There are some laminated cards to carry around and a chapel for prayer – a wonderful light and holy space which contained a book to write in – ‘A Book of Sorrow and Loss’.

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A very moving idea which was being well used and must be meeting a need.

One very unusual idea that I have never seen before was a small display of pumpkin Jack O Lanterns with a leaflet ‘The Pumpkin Prayer’. A positive Christian approach to something that churches have often been wary of. An excellent way of christianising an essentially pagan idea.

There is a good website at http://stpetermancroft.org.uk/ with clear and welcoming visitor information. I rate St. Peter Mancroft as excellent and this is a good example of what can be achieved in an urban church in a busy place. Go and have a look!

 

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