Notice boards are your first opportunity to connect with a visitor and make an impression. If they are tatty, out-of-date and disorganised then the impression you make will not be good! Choosing and sticking to an in-house style (colours, font style, logo if you have one) can be helpful, but what matters most is that the boards are attractive, clear and up-to-date.
One source of external notice boards is The Church Notice Board Company.
One source of internal notice boards is Rap Industries Ltd.
Please if you can recommend other notice board suppliers.
It's always difficult to see ourselves as others see us - and in the case of the notice board at the foot of the church path, most regular churchgoers probably no longer see it at all. Even if it has peeling paint and contact details for the last vicar but one, those of us who walk past it weekly are the least likely to notice. For visitors or newcomers, however, this may be their first point of contact with the church. So perhaps the first thing that we need to do is to stand in front of the notice board and ask ourselves: what impression does it give of our church?
The notice board should be smart and attractive, and its character (in terms of the formality of the font and language, etc.) should reflect the character of the church. It is possible to buy purpose-built church notice boards (see above) but if funds are limited then is there a local carpenter who could make a simple board on which laminated signs can be displayed? If the current board were sanded and re-painted or varnished, would that be sufficient? A new or replacement noticeboard will require a faculty, and the local planning authority must be consulted to establish whether planning permission is also required.
Detailed information can be added on notice boards inside the church (and/or in the porch). It is best to prioritise clarity over detail on the boundary notice board. The following information is probably sufficient:
From where is the notice board visible? If it is effectively at the road side, then you might want to have a separate board where you can display this week's service times in large enough, legible enough letters to be read by passing motorists, even if the rest of the information is accessible only to pedestrians.
If there is more than one way into the church, then it's a good idea to have clear signs on every door telling newcomers the way to the main entrance.
If the door is tricky to open, or there are steps on the other side, then it's helpful to have a welcome notice on the door with relevant instructions.
Notice boards in our church porches are often rather tatty, out of date and muddled. Having dealt with the appearance of the boards themselves, there are two questions that we need to ask about the notices to be displayed there: what information must be there, by law, and what information would a visitor need to have if the church were locked when s/he arrived?
By law, the following information must be displayed in the church porch:
In addition, it can be helpful to display the following information:
Assuming that your church is normally open during daylight hours, it will probably be better to put your main displays on the internal noticeboards rather than in the porch. Smart, up-to-date noticeboards will help not only to disseminate information to church members, but also to let visitors know that this is a living church and not merely a beautiful ancient building.
The shape of the internal architecture will probably be the biggest factor in determining where in the church the noticeboards are located, but if the option is available then it's good to make them fairly immediately visible on entering the building, and/or to locate them near to where people gather for coffee before or after services.
Noticeboards inside the building can be a good place to display information such as:
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