Community Engagement and Consultation

Created: 27th October 2023 at 07:30




Community Engagement and Consultation


Good community engagement and consultation can be the key to success in any project.


Good community consultation can be the key to success in any project, small or large. 

It can highlight ideas and opportunities not previously considered, encourage new volunteers, raise the profile of your church, attract funding and garner support for your church in the longer term.  But consulting with people can be very difficult if you are not already engaging with them in some way.


It is quite common for people to think that consultation is the same as engagement, but it is not.  Whilst consultation is often considered to be a part of engagement, it generally refers to something which has a specific, one-off purpose, for instance, plans to widen/improve the use of a church building.


Consultation tends to include more formal activities like public meetings and surveys, but it can also include workshops and open days which aim to engage people more deeply in the decision-making process.  Consultation is not simply asking people if they like what you are proposing to do, or worse still, telling people what you are going to do.  It is a process in which you invite opinions to collectively develop an idea or solution.


Engagement, by contrast, is an ongoing process that seeks to develop relationships with individuals and organisations.  Every church should have a plan for community engagement to ensure it is meeting the needs of the parish and any other groups with links to or interests in the church. 


Strong relationships make it much easier to involve people in future plans - it is very difficult to carry out effective consultation if the people you need to approach don’t already understand or feel any connection to your organisation or the church building.


Further Information


Visitor Welcome Booklet

One useful engagement method is to create a Visitor Welcome Booklet.  The following helpful resources have been produced by the REACH Ely project.



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