Becoming a welcome church

We are delighted that you are interested in welcoming refugees!

Through developing National Welcome Boxes over the last two years, we have recognised the need to be able to offer more comprehensive support to churches wishing to welcome refugees to their local area -  no matter where you are based.

Welcome Churches has grown out of Community Church Derby and Upbeat Communities - a charity set up by the church in 2005 to help strangers become neighbours. Community Church Derby has grown to be about 20% non-white British, most of whom are from a refugee background. Welcome Churches helps other churches across the UK to be good news for refugees arriving in their communities too.

Becoming a Welcome Church involves a three-stage process which helps you understand your local context and the unique part your church can play in welcoming refugees:

Stage 1: Welcome Review

We will help you create tailored aims and objectives to welcome refugees. We will carry out an assessment of your church during this time, to identify your potential and capacity for making refugees welcome. We will help you understand where and how refugees are arriving in your community and ways you can best use your resources and assets to help them.

We offer intensive support and advice to your church during this process. This review will include bespoke meetings with Welcome Churches staff who have a wealth of experience in welcoming refugees and building a more culturally-diverse church.

Stage 2: Welcome Plan

Welcome Churches will produce a full report on the strengths and resources of the church and identify training, tools and resources which will help you. Through a guided day with key individuals we will help you set an achievable and effective plan for the twelve months.

Stage 3: Welcome Training

Our core Welcome Church training includes Coordinator Training and ‘Welcomer’ Volunteer Training for the church. This will ensure that you are able to give a good ‘Welcome’ to the people arriving in your community, work well cross-culturally and give people a place to belong.

Ongoing support and training:

Our ongoing support will provide expert advice to help you respond to the challenges and encouragements of working with refugees. You will have access to additional training resources including:

  • Welcome Boxes: welcoming asylum seekers housed in government accommodation
  • Welcome Syrians: welcoming Syrians arriving through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme
  • Welcome to the UK: a course helping refugees and asylum seekers adjust to UK culture
  • Welcome Houses: helping the church explore ways to house refugees
  • Welcome Holidays: helping churches in tourist destinations host refugees and asylum seekers for a holiday
  • Welcome to the church: guidance in sharing the Christian faith with refugees

We anticipate that our training resources will grow, as Welcome Churches develops.

What’s the cost?

Becoming a Welcome Church involves an initial contribution of £300 towards the cost of the Welcome Review, Welcome Plan and Welcome Training (including all resources). After this initial stage, a monthly fee of £50 provides access to ongoing training and support.

Church leaders must carry a vision and conviction for working amongst refugees and integrating them into the church. They should ensure key individuals are supported practically and pastorally.

How do you apply?

We have space for just 10 churches to partner with us this autumn. This will include the Welcome Review and Plan, to be ready to start Welcome training in January 2017. To apply, please email emily@upbeatcommunities.org for an application form. Places for autumn will be given on a first come, first served basis so don’t delay!