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Everyone welcome!

Everyone welcome!

Yes, we know everyone is welcome at St Bernadette…..but do they ‘feel’ welcome when they arrive in the narthex on their way into church for Mass? The Ministry of Welcome is a way to try and ensure that everyone, old and young alike – and all those in-between – do feel that they are really welcome here as they come to join in the celebration of the Mass.  So we have welcomers to greet everyone and to help them feel at home, and see that they have the ‘stuff’ they might need to join in the Mass – Mass cards, liturgy sheets, hymn books, parish bulletin, etc.

What do ‘welcomers’ do?  Well, they arrive early (about half an hour before the start of Mass) and prepare what folks will need to join on the celebration.  This means getting Mass cards, bulletin and maybe hymn books or liturgy sheets together to hand to folks as they arrive.  Then, they offer a warm, friendly greeting to all as they pass into church, but need also to respect the fact that some may wish to enter church quietly and with their own private thoughts. Sometimes folk will want information – i.e. where are the toilets?  how can they get a Mass card? what time is Mass? where is FrC, as they need to talk with him? who do they contact to use the hall?  – and welcomers can help with this.

The team usually welcomes in pairs, and each pair takes a turn at welcoming once in every five or six weeks, so this is only about nine times in a year and it is a good way of getting to know other parishioners.  We have a short session about once a year to discuss the role of welcomers and to get some advice and tips on what to do and how to do it and we always need more people in the team as this spreads the commitment people give.

We hope that everyone who enters through the big glass doors of our church will feel we are a friendly parish and that all are really welcome….and welcomed … do think about offering to take a turn at welcoming others to St B’s. Contact Fr C for more details.

Linda Hodgson