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Communication Resources for Episcopal Parishes

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Marketing our churches is all about thinking of how an outsider who comes to visit your church experience it. That is the aim of our Diocesan Brand Guidelines & Stylebook . In the book, we offer a step-by-step guide to good, practical, effective marketing, and evangelism practices for The Episcopal Church in Southwest Florida. You can view and download it by clicking the link above.

We hope you will not only use it but help us and add to it and improve it, as we seek ways of growing our Episcopal Church in this corner of Florida.


Step 1. Parish Websites

Your website is the first thing that a newcomer will look for if they are going to visit your church. Some examples of websites in the diocese of smaller congregations.

  • WordPress: When we consider parish websites, there are many that have been done in WordPress that are worth looking at, including St. Alfred, Palm Harbor, and St. Andrew, Spring Hill. Both are for smaller parishes. WordPress is open-source software, so it is free. Hosting is about $10 a month. There is a one-time cost to building the site if you cannot do it yourself, which can range from $600 to $1,000 and up.
  • Squarespace:  The Cathedral Church of St. Peter built its website in Squarespace. Squarespace is $18 a month, though the staff time invested in putting it together can be significant. They also invested in professional photos, for a one-time cost.
  • Our Web Self Audit form is a checklist for websites. It asks questions about passwords, web providers, and the like.

Step 2. Social Media

If you plan for your church to attract anyone new, it is important that you have some sort of presence on social media.

  • Use our Social Media guidelines HERE. These are so that parishes can feel more comfortable using social media, and avoid obvious problems.
  • A guideline on media is How Your Church Can Avoid Social Media Conflict.
  • Most of our parishes stream at least one service. View our 2020 streaming guide HERE.

Step 3. Signage

The Episcopal Sign: Make sure you have an Episcopal Church sign, at least somewhere. They are expensive, but they hold up and are sort of an American classic. They were the first branded church sign, and have held up for over six decades across the American landscape.

  • If your Episcopal Sign is rusty or dated, be sure to check into getting a new one HERE. On that page, there is a tool to configure what a new one might look like, so you can have a dummy copy.
  • Each parish has different local requirements for signage, because of local regulations and neighborhood customs. Tread carefully when thinking of what it might look like, as it will be there likely for decades.

Step 4. Grounds

Your campus and grounds are part of the overall impression that you make to visitors. Show it off in photos and social media. We would also be interested to know if any parishes have a diocesan flag, which was once common but no longer seen.

  • Some Episcopal flag suppliers, including outdoor and indoor. Please keep us posted as to suppliers as you update your campus.
  • Secret Shopper Checklist can be used to check off the appearance of your parish.

Step 5. Greeting and Welcome

First-time visitors decide within five minutes if they will return. Make sure that there are people at the door who truly welcome visitors and regulars.

  • Invite Welcome Connect, an Evangelism program developed by Mary Parmer and others, has ideas on improving your process with newcomers HERE.
  • A video of Mary Parmer is HERE.

Step 6. Service Bulletins

As a liturgical church, sharing expectations with our attendees is what makes it work, especially as our worship is more complicated than non-denominational churches, which are pretty much worship music, announcements, and a sermon. Below are some ideas on liturgy. Send us your templates and we will put them in our Dropbox (see right).

Step 7. Newcomer Cards

You can print cards and brochures at your local print shop, or on websites like Vistaprint. We have found that Displays2Go has a wide variety of displays for handouts, from a $1.67 plastic brochure rack to more expensive wall-mounted displays. (See step 11, follow up.)

Step 8. Faces of the Brand

Your parish Altar Guild and our Diocesan Altar Guild are excellent resources for including newcomers in our worship. They sponsor a yearly conference, which includes practical aspects of worship. You can contact them directly with questions. Each of our diocesan organizations, from Episcopal Church Women to Order of St. Luke, to Cursillo and Daughters of the King, are all tools for new members of your congregation.

  • Diocesan Altar Guild

Step 9. The Social Hour

Remember that if we are to advertise that “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You” on our signs, it necessarily means that we need to actually welcome guests. Some useful articles and links:

Step 10. Follow Up

There are a number of ways to get information for new attendees. A must is a simple pew card that has a space to fill in the information.

Step 11. Ongoing Email

Last Updated: 9-26-23