(5) Assessing Your Parish Hospitality and Welcoming

Assessing Your Parish Hospitality and Welcoming

This is a “self – help” toolkit to assist local parishes in evaluating their efforts to invite and welcome people into the life of the parish community.

Approach to Implementation:
This toolkit will provide instructions and a format that can be utilized to self assess the many elements that contribute to helping a parish not only welcome people but how people learn about the parish and parish life. It also provides a DVD that can be borrowed which reviews the areas of welcoming and hospitality. Finally, there are sources identified that provide assistance. This toolkit is organized to be a “self – help” process. The assessment form can be downloaded and the DVD viewed in preparation for conducting the parish evaluation. We expect that a full evaluation with reports to the parishioners can be completed by a dedicated committee in three months.

Roles, Responsibilities and Instructions
• A designated parish staff member should be the sponsor of the evaluation.
• A committee of 4-6 parishioners with varying expertise is required to organize and conduct the evaluation. Diocesan personnel can be consulted with regard to persons with disabilities, reaching ethnic groups, buildings/grounds, and other areas where the parish feels a need for help.
• The survey should be available in printed form and/or through the parish website or other electronic media.
• You should survey at least 2% of your parish population. The sample should include people from various ethnic groups, ages, spiritualities and people with special needs.
• The effort to conduct the survey should be well publicized in advance in the bulletin, parish website and pulpit.
• The information collected should be evaluated by the parish staff, parish council and financial council. Results and actions to be taken should be also publicized in the bulletin, website and pulpit.

The Hospitality Assessment may be downloaded from the Assessment files below to the parish’s own website. This may be printed off and distributed. However, this way doesn’t tabulate responses or analyze them. Responses may be tabulated and analyzed by a free or low cost Online Survey Tool that may be used on the parish’s website. Some websites already have the capacity for conducting a survey.

  • Determine the Survey Tool that most fits your needs, do an “internet search” (online survey tools) and choose either a free or a reasonably priced one. For example, Survey Monkey is a familiar one – but the free version is limited to 10 questions and 100 participants. This could be quite limiting, especially for large parishes.
  • The next level up (for about $200) allows for an unlimited number of questions and returns the Survey results analyzed and calculated. If you would like a version of the Assessment questions that you can put on a survey website (text that is in WORD – not a PDF file so you can adapt it to your needs), contact Lisa Watson in the Pastoral Planning Office at lwatson@camdendiocese.org and we will provide you with an electronic version that you may adapt for your needs.

There is little training needed to carry out this toolkit. Results of the evaluation may indicate a need for training in particular ministry, but this has to be organized outside of this toolkit process. Toolkit # 6: How to Welcome New Members into Our Parish Community is available if you want more training and facilitation in this area.

Expected Resources
• Time from a staff member: to discern membership on the project committee, to help with document preparation, facilitating meetings.
• Software that can accommodate the assessment format and someone who knows how to use it.
• Printing in the bulletin (inserts, publicizing the project)
• This should be a very low cost effort for a parish. Implementation of findings could require more funds.

Contact information:
Andres Arango
Bishop’s Delegate for Hispanic Ministry
and Director of Evangelization
Phone: (856) 583-6181

These 3 documents are the Assessment (in English and Spanish) and a simple Excel workbook to help you tabulate the responses received. The workbook consists of 5 sheets- each sheet corresponding to a section of the assessment. For each assessment you receive, go across the rows, typing “Yes” or “No” into the box corresponding to the question. You’ll see at the bottom of the worksheet that the total number of “yes” and “no” responses is calculated, as well as a total representing the number of assessments that are collected. Hopefully, you will collect more than 100 responses, and in that case, insert the number of rows you need into each sheet. If you need assistance with the Excel workbook, please contact Lisa Watson at lwatson@camdendiocese.org  or 856.583.2843.



Hospitality worksheets

Helpful Resources for Welcoming and Hospitality

Before You Choose the Opening Song: 7 Gestures of Intercultural Hospitality

Creating a Universallly Designed Ministry

Hospitality at Church

Parish Accessibility “Welcome and Inclusion” Survey
(full toolkit can be found in Ministry with the Deaf/ Office of Persons with Disabilities section)

Tips for Identifying Parishioners and Families with Disabilities

Tips for Working with Children and Youths with Special Needs