Divine Inspiration began in July 2006, based in the Diocese of Coventry and was funded by English Heritage as part of the Places of Worship Support Officers funding programme. It acknowledged that church buildings were held in trust for all people to explore and enjoy, of all ages and any spiritual persuasion. They are full of potential for learning, heritage, activity other than worship, cultural events and are, most importantly, for sharing.
Divine Inspiration encouraged those who were stewards of church buildings to look creatively at how they welcomed visitors to their buildings and to tell better, well researched and more engaging stories to those who made visits.
Divine Inspiration actively supported volunteers in churches as they developed their welcome by offering free training and a forum for networking opportunities. It encouraged churches to assess how they currently used their space and explored how they might share it more widely and creatively with others in their community.
The Divine Inspiration toolkit was developed after many years of experience of working with parishes. It is designed to help volunteers in parish churches to create a warmer welcome for those who visit their buildings for all kinds of activities, with practical help on improving signage and writing a better visitor booklet.
After 5 years the Divine Inspiration project came to an end, however you can still download the toolkit which covers 9 areas:
Toolkit 1: Ten top tips for welcoming visitors to your church
Toolkit 2 Interpreting your building for visitors
Toolkit 3: Opening your Church with Confidence
Toolkit 4: Getting Noticed – Using notice-boards creatively
Toolkit 5: Writing a Better ‘Statement of Significance’
Toolkit 6: Unlock the story of your church – on-line!
Toolkit 7: Church and School working together
Toolkit 8: Sources of funding for Church projects
Toolkit 9: Sharing and understanding your churchyard
And if you already open regularly or want to refresh your welcome take the opportunity to self-audit your welcome and see where you can improve with the Divine Inspiration toolkit: You’re welcome: self assessment
You can download the whole toolkit from the Arthur Rank Centre here http://www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk/library-of-good-practice/item/6674-divine-inspiration