* A Cultural Affairs Committee has been established to schedule and promote activities at the Centre. The Committee has representation from four of the closest stakes surrounding the London Temple. Two Sunday night firesides and two Monday night activities are scheduled each month. Most have been very successful. We have had several occasions where baptismal invitations have been extended and accepted after firesides and activities. The Cultural Affairs Committee will be sending out invitations for ward choirs, other musical groups, and individuals to schedule Christmas performances to be held in the VC theatre during the month of December.
* Visitors' Centre hours have been extended to 12-hour days Tuesday-Saturday (9-9), Monday evenings (5-8), and by appointment on Sunday.
* A tourist information website has been established for the Visitors' Centre. It can be seen on www.visitsurrey.com under "Things To Do." The Centre is listed as one of the top five attractions to see in Surrey. We also have a link with the Tandridge District Council website, as well as it's Disabled Access Places To Visit site.
* Surrey County has now approved installation of four directional "brown signs" on major roads leading to the London Temple and Visitors' Centre, which have also been authorized by the Church Temple Department. Highway Department engineers are scheduled to install the signs shortly.
* Beginning September 1st, a local public bus company will include the London Temple and Visitors' Centre on a new route connecting the temple with the communities of Oxted, Lingfield, East Grinstead and Copthorne, with further connections to Crawley and the Gatwick airport. This will be a great blessing to temple workers and patrons as well as visitors who do not own cars. Bus service has not been available for many years, and people taking the train have had to hire cabs from the train stations.
The bus service has given us an amazing additional blessing. We have been turned down time and again when placing promotional materials in posts offices, libraries and other public places because it is "too religious." However, in making arrangements for the new bus route, the bus company manager required us to help with the cost of printing new bus schedules by paying for an advertisement on the back cover of all the new schedules. That means we will now have a full-color ad promoting the Visitors' Centre distributed by the bus company... to all area post offices, libraries, train and bus stations, grocery stores, and other public and community places. We are very excited about this unexpected tender mercy which we had not foreseen.
*Three articles have been published in area newspapers welcoming people to the London Temple and Visitors' Centre and explaining teachings of the Church.
* For four consecutive months, as a free public service, a regional community magazine with a circulation of 75,000 has published an announcement inviting people to the Visitors' Centre.
* New leaflets have been printed to promote the London Temple Visitors' Centre on ward and stake bulletin boards and in communities, where permitted. Smaller leaflets have also been given to the Hyde Park Chapel Visitors' Centre in downtown London for distribution during the Olympics.
*Beautiful new colored guest cards have been printed with postcard-like pictures of the London Temple and the Christus, with guaranteed Royal Mail return postage to obtain referrals from members and friends coming to the Visitors' Centre.
*At the request of the local Horne Parish Council in our area, we are meeting with council members and Crawley Stake representatives to discuss plans to landscape a piece of property across from the temple. They are planning to construct walking paths and benches to complement, on a smaller scale, those on the temple grounds. We are exploring how the Crawley Stake and our missionaries may participate in a "helping hands" project that may enhance the neighborhood and be good for public relations.
* We have sent 600 emails and posted 100 letters to head teachers in outlying schools, inviting them to bring students to the Visitors' Centre to learn about basic teachings of the Church as part of their required religious education curriculum.
* We enjoy being able to speak in Sacrament meetings and firesides across the temple district two or three times per month by invitation. It is a blessing to attend different wards and get to know the members in various areas of the temple district. We promote the Visitors' Centre and speak on gospel topics as assigned by local Priesthood leaders.
We hope these first six months have laid a foundation for greater things to come. ~Don~
|The London Temple|