Magazine article Anglican Journal

Churches Have Much to Learn from Golden Arches

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Churches Have Much to Learn from Golden Arches

Article excerpt

(ENI)--Churches should take a leaf from the 750-page training manual of global restaurant giant McDonald's and make first-time visitors feel more welcome, a study has found.

McDonald's "entire ethos is geared around making us feel welcome and ensuring that we 'call again,'" says Alison Gilchrist in her study, entitled Creating A culture of Welcome.

Even a "fairly reserved" official body like the English Tourist Board takes hospitality seriously and offers a Welcome Host training course.

By contrast, she says many British churches combine hot coffee with a cold shoulder.

"Fellowship time after the service is often an exclusive club where the outsider never catches sight of a friendly face approaching to say hello," says Ms. Gilchrist, an Anglican cleric in Lancashire, England. "We have forgotten the gut-wrenching fear of the first journey over the threshold."

In the United States, one man visited 195 churches and reported that he was spoken to only once apart from the official greeters: he was asked to move his feet. …

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