Which churches are most welcoming?


I never went into a Catholic church when I was younger because my parents led me to believe that Catholics liked to keep to themselves and that was why they had Catholic schools and why they didn’t have a welcome noticeboard outside their churches. I have noticed that some churches have a welcome sign telling visitors that they are welcome. I have been in non-Catholic chuches where there have been ‘ushers’ that welcome you and let you know what to expect, where the toilets areand invite you for a cup of tea and biscuits or even for lunch. I am a Catholic and I feel very at home in my church but I do wonder if guests, particularly non-catholic guests, would feel as welcome as they should. Does it depend on the Church? Or is it a regional thing? hat do people think? Could we be more welcoming? What churches have you been to that have been very welcoming and which ones have been less so? DO Catholics welcome more that non- Catholics or the other way around?


The Catholic Church welcomes Non-Catholic Christians to attend Mass but they cannot received Holy Communion because they are not fully united with the Holy See.

Here is the reason taken from the Missal.

"Because Catholics** believe that the celebration of the Eucharist is a sign of the reality of the oneness of faith, life, and worship**, members of those churches with whom we are not yet fully united are ordinarily not admitted to Communion. Eucharistic sharing in exceptional circumstances by other Christians requires permission according to the directives of the diocesan bishop and the provisions of canon law. . . . "


The Catholic Church is universal, so I would think it would depend on the culture of the area where the parish is located. Of the five parishes in my area, each of them have welcoming committees and ushers that are helpful and open.

One of the things that separate non-Catholic churches from the Catholic parishes is that the non-Catholic churches know the majority of the members in their congregation, and for the most part this does not change. Because any Catholic can go to any Catholic parish to participate in Mass at any time, it would be impossible to know who are new members and who are not. Non-catholic churches seem to “hone-in” on people who they think are new members…the Catholic Church does not have such a focus, but instead welcomes everyone (generally speaking, not setting aside the rules in reception of the Eucharist).


Any Catholic churches with a welcome ntice board?
Like this



grrr - i can never get the picture to work. Sorry folks


It is not what churches are most welcoming, but what is the one true Church. Jesus built his church on the Rock, ( St. Peter), and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I have been in many churches other than my own, which is Catholic. They may make you feel welcome, but I felt total emptiness. We should base our church on the true principles, not how welcome you feel.To me the church is me and my Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one that makes me feel welcome. Satan can make you feel welcome, but is that what we want. Not all things that are pleasing to us, are pleasing to God. The church is not a place for entertainment, but for worship. If you are or strive to be near to Jesus, you will feel welcome. It is a one on one relationship, and we should seek Him and He will do the rest. I have seen too many false churches and ministers that try to play the role of God, and lead many to perdition. Many catholic people have told me they did not feel welcome or satisfied in the Catholic Church. This is because they do not strive to grow in their faith. Church is not a Sunday service or mass, it is a way of life, and that is today, tomorrow and every day.
May Christ dwell in you!


I am aware of that but if a church is not welcoming then newcomers will not arrive and they won’t know that it is the real Church. Thus we would be failing all the people who think the same as my parents did.


Well, I think it wouldn’t be such a bad thing for all of us to be a little more welcoming. But it really does depend on the particular character of the parish. There have been some that were immediately welcoming, and others that weren’t. The last parish I attended on a regular basis I was there for three months and in that time only one person came up and talked to me. Part of the reason I don’t actually have a home parish is because I don’t see the point if I’m only going to be home for 3 months at the most out of the year and I won’t even have the “parish family” experience. But also, part of the reason I never liked to go “exploring” different churches with no intention of converting was because I didn’t want to be swamped with people telling me to get on their mailing list or God forbid INTRODUCE ME to everybody!!! :eek: I think most people who wish to be welcomed would like a balance between the two; somewhere between not saying anything at all, and having everyone come up and start talking to you.

Catholic churches are HUGE though, so it’s not surprising that they don’t know who is a newcomer and who isn’t. They probably just assume everyone is a parishioner, and if the person doesn’t look familiar, it could always be somebody who’s just attending a different Mass for watever reason. I know I’d be embarrassed if I started saying “oh welcome to Saint xyz church” to somebody who actually was a regular parishioner that I just didn’t know. Maybe that’s a sign for me personally to talk to people who attend the Masses at school that look like newcomers and welcome them.


I dont know what its like in Scotland, but here in the US in a major city, I can tell you that my parish is as Protestant looking as can be and this is after they ripped out all the beauty out of the Chruch and made it look like the neighboring Lutheran Church in town.

If that is not welcoming I dont know what is.

It certainly was not welcoming to the Catholics that had to see their parish stripped.

Hope that helps.


I don’t know how to answer to this question really, but for some reason what just came to my mind is:

To me, the most welcoming church would be determined by how they welcome the homeless, the sick, the naked, the trouble ones.

Matthew 25:
36 Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.


I don’t think protestantising a church makes it more welcoming. You can get welcoming and unwelcoming protestant churches in the same way as Catholic churches.


Very good point. It’s also nice to be noticed that you aren’t there when you are ill.



Just showing off http://www.coolsmilies.net/happy/sq_hehe1.gif


Wow - i like the smilie too :thumbsup:


Since “church” intimidates many folks…especially non-believers, I think it is really important to be welcoming.

Our church invites first time visitors to fill out a response card and they can turn it in at the coffee bar (Starbucks clone) for a beverage of their choosing. No mailing list…just a welcoming letter is sent. We’ve only attended here for a few months and have been greeted and approached by many. After one of our first visits, a couple sitting behind us greeted us after the service, we chatted for a few minutes, and they then took us to lunch. We have gotten together a couple of times since then and we feel like we have some new friends.

The flipside of that was several years ago my parents were attending a church located in San Diego that was not very welcoming. When the subject came up in converstaion with one of the lay leaders, my folks were told that “this isn’t an entry-level church”. :shrug: :mad: :confused: :blush:


My answer would be that everyone has a responsability to be welcoming to all. Just seems like the right thing to do.:shrug:

I seem to meet someone new at my church every Sunday. I was told it is because I sit in the back and that is where visitors go. LOL :thumbsup: I guess God wants me in the back then because I am a friendly person that can talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime–just ask my kids;)

I met 2 new people yesterday because I was working in the nursery. I said hi are you visiting and one said yes with relatives and the other just moved here and is checking us out I suppose.:wink:

Like another poster said us protestants seem to know most church members so we know when someone is new.:smiley: I say why not recognize them and say hello and make them feel welcomed. :thumbsup:



Sending this to my pastor.


I happen to want it back to the way it was.

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