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 info@embraceni.org.

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 : gsec@bsni.co.uk) stocks Bibles in 50 languages, including some children’s editions, and can order up scriptures in 100 languages. Some bi-lingual texts are available.

EMBRACE Resources: Christian

167 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 1SW
Tel: 0121 765 4404         Website: www.agape.org.uk     Shop: multi-lingual Jesus Film DVDs
Suppliers of the Jesus Video in the UK. Supplied with commentary dubbed into hundreds of languages.

Bible Society
Website: www.biblesociety.org.uk      Shop: Bibles and Bible portions to purchase in different languages
Bibles and New Testaments in different languages

Bible Society NI
27 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6NB
Tel: 028 9032 6577         Website: www.bsni.co.uk
Supply Bibles, Bible portions and tracts in many languages

Chapter Two
Fountain House, Conduit Mews, London, SE18 7AP
Tel: 020 8316 5389, Fax: 020 8854 5963   Email: chapter2@aol.com     Website: www.chaptertwobooks.org.uk
Extensive range of foreign language Bibles, tracts, calendars and booklets

Christianity Explored
Website: www.christianityexplored.com   Webpage to access materials in 22 languages
Christianity Explored is an informal course for people who’d like to investigate Christianity. Eight bible studies in St. Mark’s gospel available for speakers of English as a second language

Easy English
Website: www.easyenglish.info
Easy English is a form of simple English developed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). This site contains Bible commentaries and other materials written in EasyEnglish. They are free for downloading and use.

Elam Ministries, UK
P O Box 75, Godalming, Surrey
Tel 01483 427778
Website www.elam.com
Farsi/Persian literature, language, people and media resources. Catalogue available

48 Elmwood Avenue, Belfast BT9 6AZ
Tel 079 6992 1328  Link to EMBRACE Resource page on this site here
Newsheets, booklets and fliers providing information and suggestions for Christian response and welcome. The EMBRACE office also houses a small resource library which can be borrowed from by arrangement.

Global Connections
Caswell Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1QD
Website: http: www.globalconnections.org.uk/   Online material: Downloadable resources  Shop: Books, events and publications
Materials and events addressing current trends and issues relating to mission

Good News English Course
Website: www.gnews-english.org
Resource for refugees: a teach-yourself English course based on the Bible, for absolute beginners. It is free, can be downloaded from the internet and is available in several different languages. The course leads on to upper intermediate level and aims to develop all the language skills – reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Iranian Christian Fellowship
158 Sutton Court Road, Chiswick, London W4 3HR
Website: www.icfonline.co.uk
Church services and Bible Study groups in Persian/Farsi in London. People resources/Farsi speakers for ministry elsewhere in the UK

Kitab Interserve Resources
5/6 Walker Avenue, Wolverton Mill, Milton Keynes, MK12 5TW
Website: www.kitab.org.uk
Suppliers of leaflets, books, Scriptures, videos and audio tapes in English and 70 other languages for the understanding of and outreach to Muslims and Islam. Owned by Interserve. Catalogue available.

No Frontiers
Unit 3, Hargreaves Business Park, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6QW
Website: www.nofrontiers.org
Christian literature available in many languages – catalogue available

Station Approach, Borough Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN15 8BG
Website: omf.org/uk/    Shop: materials to support cross-cultural engagement with south east Asian people
Materials for understanding the cultural and religious background of people from South East Asia.

Sat-7 Trust (Satellite Television)
PO Box 3941,Chippenham, Wiltshire SN15 9HQ 
Website: www.sat7uk.org
Arabic resources on website plus resources for Christians and Muslims. Broadcasts from a Christian worldview to the Middle East and North Africa.

Scripture Gift Mission
SGM Lifewords, 1A The Chandlery, 50 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7QY
Website: www.sgmlifewords.org/uk/
Selection of Bible Resources/Christian literature available in many languages. Supplied free for sharing on a one-to-one basis. Not for mass distribution.

SOON Ministries (WEC International)
SOON 44 Twyford Road, Willington, Derby, DE65 6BN
Evangelistic papers, Bible Study materials and New Testaments in easy-English, aimed primarily at those who speak English as a second language. Evangelistic papers are available free in reasonable quantity to any Christian ministry who can make use of them.

Word of Life
PO Box 14, Oldham OL1 3WW
Supply a variety of resources for sharing Christian teaching with people from a Muslim background, including calendars with Scripture verses in different languages. Bible correspondence course for Muslim enquirers.


Into the Light

Website: www.itl-usa.org/
An equipping website for Christians wishing to share their faith with others, particularly those reaching out to Muslims.


International Training Network
P.O. Box 6335, Christchurch, BH23 9BN, U.K.
Website: www.itnuk.com/
Non-denominational TESOL training for Christians who seek to communicate the gospel through teaching English as a foreign language. Includes TEIA (Teaching English to Immigrants & Asylum Seekers) course.