Ecclesiastical Insurance ran a competition to find the most welcoming churches in Britain. It is quite difficult to find out who won – I cannot find any information on the Ecclesiastical Insurance website so I assume they are keeping it a closely guarded secret for some reason. However, but doing some snooping round on the pages of the Ely Standard (as I am prone to doing) I discovered that the most welcoming churches in Britain are (in order of merit):
- St Andrew’s Church Kettering
- St. Mary’s Parish Church in the village of Shirehampton, Bristol
- St Mary with St Ethelreda and the Holy Trinity, Burwell and Reach, Ely (No website I could find)
Runners up included St Margaret’s Streatley and St John’s in Clayton, as well as St Barnabas, Adeyfield, St Catharine’s, Gloucester, St John the Baptist, Locks Heath, St Mary’s, Painswick, St David’s, Tudhoe, St Andrew’s, Westcliff-on-Sea and Today’s Community Church, Wigan.
There is a bit of a bias towards Anglican churches, probably because (if the announcement of the results is anything to go by) the competition has been run under a cloak of secrecy.
I haven’t been to any of the churches in question so I can’t comment on how welcoming they are when you turn up at the door, which is surely the important bit. The websites of the top two are OK but could do with a bit more work – the St Andrew’s one bright and breezy but a bit out of date, the St Mary’s one is up to date but could do with some pictures to liven it up a bit. The Ely churches don’t appear to have a website – not to the casual Googler anyway – which isn’t great for the third most welcoming church in Britain. This is of course all from the man who hasn’t got around to building his church website yet.
I’m going to be doing some posts in the next month or so on church websites. If you had to pick the most welcoming churches (anywhere) based on their websites which would you choose?