Welcoming Newcomers

Some ideas for welcoming newcomers to your Meeting

  • Have a sign or A-frame noticeboard outside with the times of your meetings, contact details, and an up to date poster (available here).

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  • Make sure your meeting details are correct on the Quaker website. If anything needs changing, send details to: updates@quaker.org.uk
  • Encourage your doorkeepers to practise a short welcome for anyone who is at a Meeting for the first time, eg “It’s lovely to see you. We will meet for an hour sitting quietly together, and anyone who is moved to may speak to us during this time. Please sit anywhere, and make yourself comfortable. We have some information about Quaker worship, and do come and talk to one of us over coffee afterwards if you’d like to.
  • Have some leaflets available, but be ready to explain things yourself as well.
  • Discuss with your meeting how to welcome families with children, even if you don’t have a regular children’s meeting. For advice and support, contact your Youth Development Officer Jo Baynham: JonathanB@quaker.org.uk
  • When giving notices, introduce yourself and invite anyone who is new or visiting to introduce themselves if they would like to (without pressure). In a small meeting, you could ask everyone to introduce themselves. Point out who newcomers can approach with questions.
  • An afterword or sharing of ‘joys and sorrows’ after Meeting can be a good way for newcomers to participate.
  • ┬áTalk to newcomers after Meeting. Show an interest in their lives and experiences. Remember that everyone has a unique life history – not all young people are students for example.
  • Offer everyone a copy of Advices & Queries, and show newcomers how to borrow Quaker books, including Quaker faith & practice (also available online here).
  • Arrange regular shared meals or other social events and invite newcomers.
  • Invite newcomers to take part in the Exploring the Quaker Way online sessions. For details contact Craig Barnett: CraigB@quaker.org.uk
  • Offer a regular session for spiritual learning and exploration, either as a Local or Area Meeting. This could be sharing of personal journeys, exploring Quaker faith & practice or another Quaker resource such as Being Quaker, doing Quaker.

When people have been attending for some time:

  • Talk to them about how Quakers make decisions in community, and invite them to take part in a Business Meeting.
  • Encourage attenders to look at the Woodbrooke website, and to suggest topics that your Local or Area Meeting could invite Woodbrooke to deliver in person.
  • Ask if they would like to be more involved in the Meeting, and what kinds of things they enjoy or could help out with.
  • Explain how membership works and encourage them to think about whether it is right for them

If you have other suggestions to add to this, please let me know at: CraigB@quaker.org.uk