Building a Welcoming Community

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Toolkit for Churches

This toolkit for churches seeks to provide ideas and guidance for churches who are looking for ways to express welcome towards newcomers. It is designed with the particular needs of people from other nations, cultures, languages and ethnicities, but some ideas will be relevant to anyone new to the area and church.

The components of the toolkit are based on working models and the material prepared by people who have experience of engaging with migrant people.

The material in the toolkit supplements the EMBRACE Workshops for Churches at which means of engagement with international people are discussed and information shared in an informal café style setting. If you would like to know more about the workshops please contact our office at

We hope to add to this toolkit and where necessary revise sections within it. If you have suggestions for how it can be improved and/or developed please let us know.


Starting conversations with people we don’t know can be challenging and more so if their first language is different from ours. However a simple but warm ‘hello’ can be greatly appreciated by people who are new and the starting point for building friendships and understanding.

Downloadable RESOURCES
Hello poster – An A4 poster highlighting the power of saying ‘hello’
Hear My Voice 1 As simple as “Hello” – An A4 leaflet with stories to illustrate the value of making conversation.
Tips for showing welcome to people who may have little English – 10 suggestions for encouraging conversation.

Words of Welcome

EMBRACE has prepared a number of resources which can be used to show welcome across language difference. They are available free in hard copy from our office and at all EMBRACE events.

Downloadable RESOURCES

EMBRACE Welcome Poster [pdf]
Welcome slide A power point slide suitable for including in presentations.
A Word of Welcome a booklet with commonly used words and phrases of greeting in 20 languages (Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Mandarin, Czech, Farsi, Filipino, French, Hindi, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Somali, Spanish, Tetum).

Also available, (hard copies only,) from our office and at all EMBRACE events: Say a word of welcome cards with words of greeting and pronunciation tips, for Arabic, Lithuanian, Mandarin, Romanian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese and Somali languages.

Come on in: effective and inclusive invitations

The best invitation is always a personal one, and better still is the invitation to attend with you. Event fliers and church notices which have been translated into commonly spoken languages are another means of showing inclusion and welcome.

Downloadable RESOURCES
Translation service leaflet – details of EMBRACE’s translation service for church notices
Come with me: a way of welcome – Jenna Martin formerly a volunteer for EMBRACE writes about welcome.

Bible resources for migrants

The United Bible Societies has produced an illustrated resource, On the Road: a Journey through the Bible for Migrants, put together by the French Bible Society, in conjunction with a group of migrant people. It is a combination of Bible stories, prayers and personal experiences and suggested questions for discussion. It could be used for personal or group work, by migrants, or local people – or to help bring them together.

The Bible Society (27 Howard Street Belfast, Tel : 028 9032 6577, E-mail: stocks Bibles in 50 languages, including some children’s editions, and can order up scriptures in 100 languages. Some bi-lingual texts are available.