- Place: An accessible and hospitable building, open at the same time every week.
- People: Open to everyone regardless of their circumstances or situation, and staffed by volunteers.
- Presence: A place where people actively listen to one another.
- Provision: Offering free refreshments and basic local information.
- Participation: Recognises that every person coming to a Place of Welcome will bring talents, experiences and skills that they might be willing to share locally.
Places of Welcome hits 100
An initiative that offers a warm welcome in local communities is now open in 100 places across the Diocese of Lichfield.
The 100th Place of Welcome opened its doors at one of the most unique venues yet – Hammerwich Hall Care Home, near Burntwood.
Places of Welcome is a network of small community organisations who provide an unconditional welcome to local people for at least a few hours each week. The initiative is spreading across the country with over 350 venues taking part. Places of Welcome are run by local groups who want to make sure that everyone in their area has a place to go for a friendly face, a cup of tea and a conversation.
The 100 Places of Welcome across Lichfield Diocese – an area with a population of 2 million which covers Staffordshire, the Black Country and most of Shropshire – are in venues including churches, libraries, community centres, a Buddhist temple and now a care home. They are all open to the public at a set time on a weekly basis.
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “It is a fantastic achievement that there are now 100 Places of Welcome across Lichfield Diocese – each one offering people a haven of companionship and friendship. Places of Welcome really do combat isolation and loneliness and are a practical outworking of how churches and other organisations can know and love their communities.”
Hammerwich Hall, owned and run by Advinia Health Care, became the 51st Place of Welcome to open in Staffordshire and hosts its weekly Place of Welcome every Thursday between 2pm and 4pm in the Home’s Vintage Tea Room.
Emily Hocking, Customer Relations Manager, commented: “Advinia Health Care are delighted to join the Places of Welcome network and we look forward to welcoming people to our wonderful home and gardens. We pride ourselves on the warm welcome we offer and look forward to making new friends by offering this opportunity for people to pop in for a cup of tea or coffee and achat on Thursday afternoons.”
Places of Welcome are sponsored and supported by Transforming Communities Together, a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the Diocese of Lichfield.
Transforming Communities Together Chair, the Rev Dr David Primrose, said: “We’re delighted to have Places of Welcome now at a growing number of places across Lichfield Diocese and want to continue this growth. It’s fantastic to have a variety of different organisations involved, as we work towards our vision of every community having a Place of Welcome.”
Places of Welcome is a grassroots movement that began in Birmingham. It has five values ensure that each venue is open at the same time and place for at least a few hours every week and is welcoming to anyone wanting to attend:
There are no charges for joining Places of Welcome, and anyone can start one in their community. Places of Welcome can be in any location including churches, mosques, temples, community centres or housing associations.
Find out more here.