A group of churches in the diocese has decided to take a fresh look at the life of its churches and the outreach offered to the communities they serve. Fr Paul Blanch, Vicar of Kirton in Holland with Algarkirk and Fosdyke, takes up the story...

Following on from the idea of The Hotel Inspector, a television programme featuring Alex Polizzi, we have invited Fr Trevor Thurston-Smith to be our ‘Church Inspector’ and to come and take a closer look at our three churches in The Kirton Group.

As part of this, Fr Trevor will assess, for example, our ministry of welcome, the quality of our Sunday worship, and the management style relating to our parochial church council. 

Fr Trevor, who is currently Rector of The Wigston Benefice in the diocese of Leicester, will be making appearances at all three of our churches in 2019, just like the Hotel Inspector. I wonder what he will find?

The proposed key areas of exploration include the following areas:

First impressions/communication

  • Noticeboards
  • Website
  • Social media
  • Parish magazine
  • Pewsheet/newsletter
  • Warmth of welcome to worship (sidepersons, etc)


Worship, liturgy and spirituality

  • Style and quality of liturgy
  • Style and quality of music
  • Preaching – style, content, relevance
  • Engagement with wider world – sermon, intercessions, etc
  • Use of silence
  • Children and young adults
  • Prayer groups/Bible study/discussion groups




  • Physical accessibility/disabled friendly?
  • Comfort of seating
  • General ambience
  • Use of space/adaptability
  • Used by wider community?


Church halls:

  • Physical accessibility/disabled friendly?
  • Use of space/adaptability
  • Used by wider community?
  • Facilities – WC, baby-changing facilities, etc


Mission and outreach

  • Involvement with local schools
  • Involvement with other community groups
  • How is Christian discipleship lived out in relation to the wider community collectively by the church family?


General questions:

  • Would I be happy to worship in this church? If not, why not?
  • What appear to be the main strengths and weaknesses of the parish(es)?

We look forward to hearing more about this local initiative in due course. In the meantime, for details of a special service for Candlemas in the group, plus a proposed pilgrimage to Lourdes, please see here.