Although the visit will feature in the national media, it is important to promote it at a local level as well.

Everyone has a part to play in helping to spread the good news of the visit. Whether it be through putting a poster on display in a window or contacting your local newspaper, we can all join the Holy Father in his mission to witness to the message of the God’s love and mercy. We are all invited to scatter seeds.

Jesus said, ‘Listen, a sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Anyone who has ears should listen!’

Matthew 13: 3 - 9

New Jerusalem Bible.

Papal Flag

Visual signs are often more effective than words. Consider flying a Papal flag during the visit as a sign of support for the Pope but also as away of witnessing to your Catholic Faith. You can find out further information about the Papal flag, coat of arms and seal here.

Local Newspaper

The local press is an excellent way of communicating to your neighbours and friends. Perhaps approach your local editor and share with him your parish plans for the visit, issuing an invitation of welcome to anyone who would like to take part in parish activities?

Some useful websites, amongst others, to help you do this are:

Parish Website

Websites provide easy access to information about the visit and your parish. A special web banner has been created for download which would be suitable for publication on parish home pages. It can also be used on the websites and blogs of individuals. You can download this in the links to the right of this page.

Social Media

  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners.
  • TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users.
  • The internet took four years to reach 50 million people.
  • In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users.

The Social Media arena is fast becoming the main channel that people use to find out about and discuss anything and everything that is important to them. It gives us an enormous opportunity to inform people about the Papal Visit and encourage them to become involved. The more people who sign-up to follow our Twitter feed or become a fan of our Facebook page, the more other people will hear about it. It becomes a virtuous circle. Get involved and help spread the word! To follow us on Twitter go to and to become a fan on Facebook all you need to do is search for "The Papal Visit".

Church Noticeboard

Is your parish noticeboard fit for purpose, for welcome and mission?

It’s said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but most people will make a judgement about the vitality of your parish community by what they see on the external noticeboard.

Annually thousands of people will walk or drive past your board, but what does it communicate about your community, your values, who you are? If it’s battered with paint peeling off or has had the same notices on it for over a year, it’s unlikely to appeal to the reader. The Papal Visit 2010 provides parishes with an opportunity to review this part of their welcome and communications strategy.

Reading the parish noticeboard is often the first step in someone seeking church membership. It is a primary tool of evangelisation.

General Advice

Every parish should have an external noticeboard.

  1. The noticeboard should be easily and clearly visible on reaching the usual entrance to the church grounds or car park.
  2. It should be of good quality and in sound repair.

  3. The lettering should be legible and easy to read. Keep the language used on the board simple.
  4. The information displayed should not be cluttered.
  5. The noticeboard should carry the basic information that an enquirer would need to be able to follow up their contact, especially an invitation to ‘come and see’. Also include here service times.

  6. Where noticeboards have an area for changing information, these should be regularly kept up-to-date. Showcase here some of your activities, communicating that the parish is welcoming and family-friendly.

  7. Ensure that the main noticeboard includes the words ‘Roman Catholic Church’ or ‘Catholic Church’. Also use the official name of the parish’; e.g. St Mary’s.
  8. A sense of belonging to the wider Church should be conveyed; e.g. perhaps through use of the diocesan logo.

  9. As space allows you may choose to briefly summarise your values and beliefs as a Catholic community. If your parish has a Mission Statement this would be helpful to include.

  10. Attractive images, photographs and symbols are visually very effective. Photographs of real people are always more appealing that clip art. Be very attentive however to child protection issues if you are considering the display of photographs that feature children or vulnerable adults.

It may be that in some situations it is necessary to obtain planning consent from the local authority before erecting a new noticeboard - contact with the planning department will confirm this.

Adapted from: Bradford DAC 22 September, 2005.


Poster for parishes

papal_poster_print.pdf 4.35 MB

A poster for parishes highlighting Pope Benedict's visit.


Web Banners

Papal Visit 85.09 kB

Download 3 different sized web banners advertising the Papal Visit for your website. (Zip File)