Most Catholic Cathedrals and churches have extensive forecourts and frontages on to busy streets, roads and pedestrian walks --- used by a huge captive audience passing by daily. Thurles is a perfect example!
This space should be advantageously used by erecting Catholic Bulletin Boards of prestigious design. Boards that could be strategically positioned and attractively printed with ‘magnetic’ messages from the Bible, words of wisdom, invitations and advice for the needy --- varying the printed content each week. Believe me, these messages will capture the curiosity of many --- the lapsed, the depressed and the disillusioned, the lonely and the sad. e.g. “Step inside and share the GOOD NEWS” -- “Drop into ME for just a few moments and I WILL REFRESH YOU” --- “Why have you forsaken ME?” --- “I am the Way, The Truth and the Light”, etc.
Images, Bible messages or Words of Wisdom projected on the outside should always reflect the warmth and hospitality of the Church and it’s congregation on the inside. Use graphics and messages in flashing lights if appropriate and there is always the option of bringing your Catholic Bulletin Boards On-Line. It is an effective form of advertising too if you want to attract Weddings, or even Vocations, to ‘Your Church’.
There was a time when it was customary for most Irish Catholics to attend Church -- but alas, no longer. Now, with many, it’s a matter of how to lure them inside for an occasional visit. The national media is of little help --- priests’ sermons and the Catholic press are only ‘getting to the converted’. Church Bulletin Boards are used extensively on the Continent, USA and elsewhere. I believe, if similarly used in all Catholic dioceses here --- they could be our silent missionaries of the future. Merely a suggestion!