How Can We Make Our Church More Visible?

How Can We Make Our Church More Visible And Welcoming To The Egham High Street?

Asked on Sunday 23rd September 2007 

A group that meets every day e.g. playbox, positioned at the front would give a more open impressions, also that the church is serving/part of the community.

If you open the church – how do you keep vandals out? We had to give up church lunches some years ago.

I’d like the church to be open every day & to welcome all people, not just those of a certain (??). All people. I like Jesus’ word “whosoever”.

Keep the church doors open – maybe lunch times and Saturday mornings – rota to man the church so people can come in for prayer. What about an extension on the side of the church? or a cafe?

1. Thoughtfully prune the trees 2. Replace the doors with glass 3. Design and site new church centre so as to improve welcoming aspect of the church 4. Church to be open much more of the time

Public outreach – bring in non-christians 1. Music – fortnightly concerts (one a month classical, one a month pop) using student performers, e.g. from Royal Holloway 2. Theatre? Keep the door open 08:00 – 18:00 daily. Prayer will keep out the burglars!

Make the front of the church lighter and airier by removing trees (if possible)

Some more stained glass windows and bright colours.

Advertise the church activities and services – especially seasonal ones – in a more vibrant and clear way, both outside the church and in town if possible.

To bring the church onto the High Street of Egham – talk to people, supply leaflets with what the church has to offer.

Cut down some of the trees at the front to open the entrance more.

I would like all the doors to be open so more people come and it feels like a bigger place – for the children to be able to do more things.

I would like to see the doors painted white.

More colour and lighter walls. Modern glass doors to make it look open. Cut back/remove trees. Add flowers. Large modern/bright boards/banners not typical C of E amateur attempt! Possibly a new modern building at the front.

Chop down trees in front. More modern colours to church building Trendy banners outside to show what we are about. Bought nearer ro High Street somehow. Glass doors.

Thinning and clearing trees on street side. Moving Lytch Gate. Widening paths. New doors with glass panels. Buy property to left of church gate.

It would be nice if one could come inside the church to light a candle in remembrance for a lost one.

At present, church separated from town by long, narrow winding path. Future building needs to be nearer the border with the town – i.e. to be part of the town.

Need colour, brightness to show that this is a church that welcomes children and young people. Need designated areas for children changing areas, breast feeding areas, etc.

More attractive noticeboards outside to let people know what is going on and that they are welcome to come in (presuming they are).

More colours and a swimming pool. (orange, red, and purple). (a drawing was included)

Perhaps we could open the doors each day for coffee/cakes to get the people of Egham in.

Some more trees could go!

Build church annex so that community can get access to hire rooms for meetings, training, etc. Build cafe for community to have tea or coffee break.

We need to create many reasons for people of all age brackets to visit the church site. e.g. facilities for parents with young kids – coffee shop and playground. Free parking. Exhibitions/gallery. Sports facilities aimed at teenagers – e.g. skate park. Safe meeting space in evenings for youngsters of all ages. Gardens – mini park – where people can sit and be. Can we buy the buildings that cut into the church grounds at front and put church facilities there instead, so we “church centre” right on the street?

1. Glass front door 2. Bulletin board with pictures of church life 3. Bridge / walkway from High Street 4. LCD Screen outside with info video 5. Welcome / Information stand (Coffee Bar)

The doors should be open and a welcome team available to talk to visitors

It’s not so much about the building as the activity – if people are doing stuff inside every day, the doors will be open, people will be coming and going, and others can be invited in.

Make the area in front of the church open plan (no walls etc) that will make it more part of the town

Maybe make the entrance more welcoming by perhaps changing the front doors to have glass ones which make people more inclined to enter and to see how different the inside is from the exterior.

Windows in the green entrance doors

Bright colour (child’s drawing possibly of the front doors)

The Church must be open for prayer during the week

Cut down the trees, have the church manned during the day, maybe with new office built / attached. Buy the square building fronting the High Street.

[new visitor] Don’t cut the trees please!!! Conservatory Cafe (dine with your friends) Keep it green, yet open up to the street. Life, love, and laughter. Bouncy castle for kids.

I take the point about the trees, but they do contribute to a pleasant, peaceful atmosphere which surely should be part of the welcome we offer. Likewise the cemetery is a place of peace.

Repaint the front door to colourful – maybe with rainbow / Noah’s Ark etc – something that attracts attention.

Have the doors open more often (if not all of the time if possible) like you can go in and visit chapels (like RHUL chapel) A bigger sign perhaps?

During the summer months have a team for people who church sit. Keep the church open for visitors. More coffee mornings & functions in the church / church centre to get people into the church. DON’T cut down the trees.

I think it looks beautiful as it is – I’d walk in regardless of the doors. But you could add a swanky cafe out the front selling pastries and cappuccinos! (first visit today)

If we could remove the ugly building by the side of St Johns Have the Church doors open every day so people could come in.

A church that welcomes – open doors. Activities for all ages. Notice boards with contact numbers of people available to talk or help.

Buzzing with children – like Palm Sunday – children running around shouting (and annoying the religious establishment) in the temple – a “holy disorder” of excitement, not a dull overordered, overstructured place.

More signs in the High Street: “St John’s Church – This Way …”

Coffee shop. Christian book shop. Music. Counselling and carers.

Colourful things, bright, bold, posters, signs

Trim the trees and perhaps build a new centre in front – linked to the church and sideways to gain the required space

I would like the Church to be open every day with some sort of entrance / notice nearer to the High Street

– no trees to cover up entrance – basket ball court – skate park

The doors are great – the only problem is that they’re mostly shut! The URC Church in the High Street is a good example of having open doors and coffee. How about a new 2nd Lych Gate leading towards the High Street

Extend out the front of the Church with coffee shop area, comfy chairs and books Christian / not

We need our Church to be a place of love and respect for one another and a house of prayer and fellowship

I am a visitor in this church. I think it is a very welcoming one. People are very friendly and very nice. Thank you all!! God bless you all. PS I am not from the UK

Something on the approach to the church to say that “church starts right here!” at the High Street. (last week we had the opportunity to visit the Olympic site in Greece (2004 games). Already it is unused, rusting, and decaying. NOT what we want!

Use the church building more for clubs – prayer meetings / breakfasts, etc, so that the doors can be open and the public can actually see the life of the church in action.

1. The Church and Church Centre should have ENOUGH ROOMS for all the groups to meet on Sunday mornings! 2. It needs to be open and active during the week. But this means appropriate staffing and security. 3. Don’t know if this is the Forum – but St John’s needs to remember our mission partners and again tithe 10% (or more) of rebuilding funds to the poorer church family, for them to have places of worship and centres for Jesus in their villages! Jesus @ the Centre!

1. Glass front doors 2. Glass covered walkway from the Street to the Church with flowers and brightly covered floor.

Staffed during week to offer refreshments for passers by / shoppers

I’m new so please take this with a grain of salt… I know that St John’s is embarking on redoing the church building, maybe the thought, though, should be how do we take the good news of Jesus to the people of Egham, as opposed to what we do to the building to see people come in. (good point about the doors being open – think it reflects the attitude of the church and the gospel to be open whenever and where ever.

I think we should have three crosses outside with thoughts of everyone about shy this Church is a good church.

I would love to come into the church when I feel like it. Also I don’t hear so good, so could they speak up?


The focus should be taken off of drawing people into the church building. Getting out of the building to just being Christians in our entire lives in our community is what brings people to Christ. Why would someone walking down High Street want to come to a Sunday service?

Remove the trees at the front of the church, also the gravestones at the front, the church is a living church not a graveyard.

Don’t expect people to go to you. Go to the people. Buildings don’t matter, people matter.

Cut back some trees Have something near the pedestrian crossing (bookshop, coffee shop?) to bridge gap to the Church.

1. Bring the whole church into the town centre by moving the road to sweep behind the church (sell our car park and buy the road in front!!). 2. Landscape garden the grounds to make a “haning around” area. Picnic tables, gazebos, etc.

Don’t take down the beautiful trees! but somehow use the open spaces and create an open, welcoming space – ie like a conservatory type building which is open every day of the week – maybe with a beautiful garden area open to everyone, for quiet reflection.

The Church Bells were actually great! Old mixed with the new! The divide between the community and the road was symbolic of decision – crossing over – provide a tangible COLOURFUL purpose of invitation for the people. Your people are very friendly, please communicate your love in colour as you are all SO open, so giving and so alive! Praise God for your family in the community. (visitor ? )

Placed in photoboards / noticeboards OUTSIDE at the edge of the site. Often people want to get a ‘look / feel’ before taking the step and coming in. If we can SHOW them this might help. It might lessen impact of ‘the closed door’! Also photos of the church in worship etc. Could we put the themes of service from the leaflet out in large print to give a ‘taster’ what to expect.

Open doors mean welcome. Could we not start with Saturday mornings? A glass door would be good

Breaks my heart to say it, but some of the trees need to come down. The building is beautiful, but glass doors will help to look more open.

We would like the firemen to visit. Jay Aged 4

– Could welcome teams stand at the end of the walkways? – Fliers / posters of the more informal church activities (coffee / prayer mornings etc) around community. – Could there be photos of the INSIDE with it’s light, lovely windows, serenity, openness

Paint the door (like a rainbow) Playground (for the outside space)

Chop down trees to make Church more visible to passers-by.

Allow people to look inside the Church even when the doors are closed therefore either: a) put glass panels into the doors or b) remove doors, build a glass foyer in front of the door

An open, visible welcoming area at the front of the church – possibly glass (as to not detract from the character of the building). Details of church activities, outreach, coffee etc. Welcome.

Chop back the trees Bulid an ‘atrium’ light and welcoming and links the church to the road and therefore the High Street. Create a GOOD coffee shop at the front of the church. Not ‘Christian’ coffee!

Open out the frontage. Cut down unattractive trees which block the line of vision and re-landscape!

Make Church more visible to High Street. Cut down some of the trees. Glass doors? Lighting used to increase welcome. Use of signs to draw in, people visible.

Glass front doors – maybe with words of Gospel on? Or do you have that inside? Cafe in church centre to encourage people to come in. Fair Trade products and seeking friendly info ‘n cafe?

Glass doors are welcoming! A porch area where people can wait, out of the rain. On Tuesdays, at Oasis, it is amazing how many people wander into the building just because the door is open. Some people want to pray in a quiet place. Some want / need help. Also, we need better lighting outside at night. People need to feel safe walking up to the church in the evening, especially in the winter months.

Extra times open on weekdays

Create a new space and buildings between the church and the High Street where there are activities every day that can be a bridge between the High Street and the church building.

1. Lose some of the Yew Trees! 2. The church used to be open every day, but the volunteers needed to do this are few. 3. This is a Grade 1 listed building – consult English Heritage sooner rather than later if you want them to agree ANY alternatives to the front.

Football pitch

Paint the doors a brighter colour

Landscaping of gardens so people can eat lunch in nice surroundings. Maybe an annexe with cafe. Accessible to disabled people and old people. Church should be more visible from High Street

New doors

Set up a garden to walk through and enjoy leading to the church

Promote the use / recital of the organ during the day / week

Sign / Large board facing the High Street telling / showing people about the church and its community in a way that shows how welcoming our church is. Something that’s visible and highlighting how different this church is – somewhere that is more diverse in race, age, and person than any church community I’ve ever been part of!

Some traditional hymns would be very welcome sometimes. Some modern ones are lovely, but some are awful and I don’t enjoy singing them.

Well publicised events aimed at bringing people in to the church and showing them what we have to offer. e.g. services, parties, etc

Glass doors

Get a presence actually in the High Street? Remove some trees? Atrium entrance that preserves Georgian but puts modern project more to the High Street?

– Church Centre also can be a doorway. – The Lych gate should have a sign like British Heritage and Welcome right there. – Big welcome sign and times of services very public.

Chop the trees down! Lots more pretty flowers instead. Fairy lights all from the street. Glass doors – or big banner that says “hello”

Remove the last memorials and offer the space to sculptors for free exhibition. (stop celebrating the dead and celebrate the living and arts)

Noticeboard closer to the traffic light. Information not only in small-print text, but with colours and pictures. Mention that you have many people of all ages (students, etc). Serve coffee on shopping Saturdays during summer.

Knock down the office building by the Lych gate.

Open up the frontage. It’s currently hidden by the trees. Add a welcoming message sign that can be seen from the High Street.

Remove all or part of the wall around the church to have a wider path leading to the church (to suck people in!). At the moment only narrow path. Relocate the tomb/grave that is in front of the doors.

I believe that the beauty of the church should be kept intact. I think that the church should be getting “in” to the community and not waiting for the community to come to us. e.g. getting hold of one of the many empty buildings in the town centre and using that for outreach. I believe we should stop blaming the building for not welcoming visitors and look at our own hearts, and whether those who attend the church are doing enough to welcome others. I’ve been attending St John’s more than 30 years and there are many weeks when I don’t feel welcomed and included.

The flowers stop at the High Street. Extend them to the door. Nothing like flowers to attract people.

It would be nice to have the doors open, every day, but security problem?

Whilst plans are being made… could the church be open through the week – and let there be organ music. There could be a list of volunteers to be in the church at these times.

The trees are in the way.

Cater for the elderly in morning and young ones in the evenings.

Knock down everything between the top of the High Street and the church door and create the impression that the High Street continues to the front door. Change Pelican Crossing to Zebra Crossing and give pedestrians the priority. Create whole glass church centre at the front of the church – a transparent, buzzing testimony of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the heart of Egham.

Glass doors. TV outside showing what it is like inside (security protected). (aged 10)

We will have to give our time so that the church is open as are the libraries.

Build a cafe close to the road – fair trade cafe and shop to be an “extension of the High Street”. Good quality – like M&S

Doors need to be open more often. Events on that are not preachy that non-christians will be able to come to!

Something eye-catching in the front which makes people want to know more. A ? inviting people in. We need to take the church out to the High Street.

Have the old doors open with the transparent doors behind. Have posters / signs by the church to grab the attention of passers-by.

I think that the church should trim the trees back and have a neon sign that says “free wine, bread, and salvation”

Evangelism. Coffee shop? Outreach.

Build a coffee shop up front.

Lights! (illustration showing flood lights illuminating the front facade of the church)

Coffee Shop

Please do not cut down the trees. It will make the church front even more stark. Shade is good!

Leave the library building where it is if we have to! Building something new that can be accessed more easily from the High Street by the road.

Posters on the outside welcoming everyone in. Church could be open at times in the day with a welcome team with refreshments?

Make the doors not so tall.


Banners! Open green doors even if glass doors are locked. Open for a couple of hours morning and afternoon.

It could use better and more attractive path access, possibly a direct path to the roads.

I came one day when looking for accommodation for my new student offspring. We couldn’t find a way in or any information to help us. A good job really we had been here before!

The doors to be open every day.

The obvious is to lighten the colour of the doors. Maybe footprints / coloured up to the church. Painted “welcome – come in” – on the door?

Play Park open for all and it is always kept clean (illustrations included)

New centre as near High Street as possible with open doors all along for coffee etc. Also counselling available – listeners, friendship. Church open all day.

More flower beds, less bushes. Remove the wall by the pavement.

Instead of having the green doors have glass, so even if they are closed it still looks welcoming.

Open doors. Welcomers all day. Get rid of trees, so church can be seen from High Street. Tea / coffee available so people will come in. Use local shops to advertise this.

Signs that talk about who we are and what we do. An area to play in the churchyard.

I would like more things to happen and more people playing instruments.

Glass outbuildings at front – reception, coffee bar, fair trade and book stall, information about community. People here at lunch times, Saturdays. A place people can “drop in” to. Very welcoming – a place for a chat or a moment of peace.

Keep it how it is! (child)

1. Move church centre to the High Street to provide a “welcome building” leading into the church. 2. Replace the outer doors with (plate) glass ones and paint the outside brickwork. 3. Once church and centre are connected, open throughout the week with volunteer welcome team.

I like the doors. They are solid, like God’s love. One must bear in mind vandals. There needs to be a notice informing visitors that the key is readily available at certain times from the office. If visitors are keen they will take the slight extra trouble involved!

remove the trees at the front… Paint the door brightly. “Welcome” banner over the front – make it happy looking. Basically – introduce brightness.

Toys, Swimming pool, sand, park-slide, swings, etc. (aged 4.75)

Please, please, please go and see Garston Bridge “chapel” in Liverpool, and see their church and their “converted” ex school premises. Bill Bygroves is the pastor. You will miss out if you don’t go. Don’t limit what God can do by not going.

Glass front to the church. Open during the day and lit up. Coffee shop that is open during the day. Take front wall down so it is more open from the town – a park area.

Change the notice boards at the front – more attractive. Could we have the church open during the week?

Buy a pub? Buy the rubbish office building? Build a centre that is useful for the community.

Cafe style on Sunday mornings – tables and umbrellas after church outside the main doors, and move in the church if raining! Extend this to Saturdays and then eventually other days of the week. Glass front door? Coloured awnings?

Could you make some sort of conservatory type building betweeen the church and the road which could be a coffee / cafe / bookshop with doors opening towards the church as well?

I want the doors to be blue and pretty with glitter on and decorations.

A glass “conservatory” “corridor” from traditional doorway to pathway. Opening up by memorial to include reception, coffee break area and information. Flowers.

Sadly we may need to move the trees in front of the church so people can see it. The community does not even know it’s there. Open up the space in front of the church. Maybe move the perimeter wall so it is not a barrier but a guiding feature towards the church.

Paint the doors a bright red. Plant more flowers in front churchyard. Perhaps even a very small natural (i.e. wooden) childs playground in that spare ground with benches. A reflection garden in very bright welcoming colours.

I don’t think you need to change anything – this church is full so it must be welcoming people.

We need to not only make the church buiding more accessible and visible to the High Street, but go out as a church community to engage with the community of Egham and its High Street where they are.

A place at the front outside the doors on the church property where we can talk about the Lord Jesus and be heard by the passers by.

A large friendly “Welcome” sign outside like York Minster.

By good design open up the vista of the church from the High Street by removing and trimming trees. Create a pathway that draws people to the church and then have it OPEN. Invite volunteers to greet people. Prayers on the hour for whoever is there. Give people the opportunity to leave their own prayer requests knowing they will be prayed for.

Get involved during the week in the High Street. Like a street fair or something people can see that acts like an advert. Make the outside exciting to look at, welcome boards, posters. Notice board so people know they can come without having to ask.

A living centre of God’s love, hospitality ,and creativity. – cafe, book & giftshop – Counselling centre – Art display space – Glass front doors – Flood lights – Guide lights up pathway – liquid crystal display noticeboard behind bullet proof glass by roadside.

Extend the church to the front and move the headstones in front of the church. We still need to have a place for the war memorial.

Short term: Open the area at the front of the church. Perhaps a more attractive noticeboard, or some publicity outside the doors when for example Oasis is on. Longer term: Have a part of the church complex, opening on to the road, with a bright welcoming atmosphere.

Make / build if possible the “office” which could also be (…) as a drop in free coffee shop – have a good architect design it so that it doesn’t detract from the church but enhances / invites.

Is it possible to have windows put into the green doors?

Cut down the bigger trees blocking the view and make the church more inviting.

Better visibility by removing some of the trees. Doors that are lighter – glass? Open daily for coffee – ministry – viewing – counselling.

Have the church as an “open shop”. That is to say that the doors be open at least some of the time if not most or all of the time, so that people can come in and find out who we are and why we’re here.

Get permission to have the office building demolished next to the church.

A few welcoming banners – eye-catching – ever changing – catching peoples’ attention – some like the ones at the front of the church.

A painting should be on the front of the door showing what the inside looks like even when it is closed. (I think you should speak Emma Roberts about this)

Once a week there can be activities for anyone!

Daily activities (coffee served?) within the church so doors are open.

Use lots of glass. Light, openness, and transparency.


Open the church more. Especially the green doors!

Lay hundreds of brass footprints around the town all walking towards the church and inscribed with welcoming scripture.

Pair of tall masts each side of the door with a durable banner – changed.

You could have a big sign saying “welcome to St John’s” or have a big water park.

Office at front of the church. Glass and light – welcoming.

Give, give, and give to the people of Egham. Make Egham a better place.

Fun games

A place to share and care no problems! Open doors. Open the way? A clear view of the church.

Lights / decorations on trees and buildings – warm colours.

More children’s activities in the weekdays.

We want to become more attractive to the community but no so much, that the people who are surviving on the edge of society don’t feel welcome and accepted here. Do we offer love and hope?

Remove large tree in front of church to left side viewed from front. Better external lighting to front of church and grounds. Covered walkways from High Street to church.

The latin above the door made the church feel almost formidable. Perhaps a translation underneath could help so it feels less scary.

Keep the doors open when there’s something on inside. Run extra activities inside during the week which anyone can take part.

Trim the trees and have the church open as much as possible.

I think that the church could be made more welcoming if there was a bookshop that was open in the day time with a small coffee shop (realise this would need people to man it). The church needs to be open so people can come in and see inside (and enjoy looking through books?). At my previous church (Greyfriars) about once a month (on a Saturday pm) members of the church would go out on the streets of Reading, encouraging people to come in for prayer / coffee. Extremely successful.

An inexpensive coffee shop outside or well signed from the High Street.

A visible marquee would be a nice start. The church is very welcoming on a Sunday morning, but I didn’t know it was open during the week.

Cut down, or reduce size of, the big trees/ hedges at the front of the church to make the front more visible.

Large glass doors, so visitors can see inside! Colourful banner on the outside.

Cut down the hedges and widen the entrance gap in the wall and path to the door.

The church could be more visible from the High Street if the trees were not hiding it. It looks hidden and therefore not welcoming.

Open these doors during the week for open house! and change the colour.

1. Nice garden and flowers to the doors will look welcoming and cared for. 2. Attached conservatory type glass structure where passers-by can see activities (Playbox?) happening – an active community church.

Building project assumes that the world outside our church is migrating towards the church. It is not. We need buildings that can be used to build up the church body to go OUT to serve the local communities and beyond. That way we will be seen to be open. To have seen that there is a world beyond ourselves, and to not assume that we are the centre of that world. The physical structure of the building is less important than our openness and presence as people in the local community.

The doors should be kept, but they should be open, with events on during the week for people to use the church – like the URC. Be a welcoming place to the local community.

If the church is hope for the world then to KEEP the green – the grass and trees – and make it a park which the local community can use. Too much building and destruction in Egham is going on. Need to preserve some of the natural environment and be good stewards of the land we have before us. Open that up as a place of quiet and peace to be used by community.

People at end of path (even across the street) to welcome on Sunday mornings. Colourful banner outside – nothing too preachy or cheesey, maybe just saying “welcome”. Door always open – and a volunteer present, or at least an obvious written welcome. Guide book for visitors. A prayer board for visitors to put requests on. Photos of different events on display in porch.

How can you open the doors when the church is full of expensive equipment, historical artefacts, etc? Protect it and make the hall welcoming instead. The church is the people.

Less trees so that it can be seen better.

Reduce the trees. Bigger / more substantial seating areas out the front.

Giving the young people (12-16 yr olds) a place to go in the evening so they do not just hang around in the street. As the elderly population increases, providing more support for them.