The Community Consultation
Consulting those who live and work in the parish
A community consultation does not have to be the sort of organised sit-down event pictured above. There is a lot to be said for the drop-in, which will probably engage a wider range of people.
Running a consultation drop-in can be random, but can offer those who live or work in the community a real chance to have a say in a way which is convenient. You simply choose a good community space – which may be a parish hall, a regularly booked meeting space, or even part of your own church property. Ideally you will choose a venue that a large number of people walk by regularly, and do not have to go out of their way to visit.
You will want to make good use of local media to publicise this, and perhaps think of some ways you can make the entrance look particularly inviting to shoppers or passers-by. Do consider whether you can offer refreshments or some other incentive for taking part.
You then provide a range of display boards, for various topics, and a large stack of pencils and Post-It notes. You will find it useful to have some simple instructions by each board to explain what that board is for. People then put their own ideas up on the board, and at the end of the event you gather them in.
You will need to tell people how you are going to report the results. It will be good to try to get the results of this as a story in the local newspaper, but while that is beyond your control to guarantee, you can promise to report them on your church website or Facebook page, or in your parish magazine.
Depending on what you have already discovered from any earlier exercises on the previous pages of this site you may have identified some specific questions you want to ask. But it will also be good to include some of the more general questions, maybe three or four of the suggested survey questions from the street survey (see the following suggestion).