Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fragrance Free Zone at Church

Earlier this year I worked with the staff and pastors of my church to establish a Fragrance Free Seating Zone at all three services. They were completely on board with it and very supportive. They asked my opinion on wording and where the zones should be located. They even put a writeup in the bulletin requesting that the congregation limit the amount of scents they wear. Here's the sign at the service I attend (the contemporary service):

Small print says: "Please sit here only if you are not wearing any fragrances -
perfumes, colognes, powders, lotions, etc."

The seating area is in the back corner of the church, a few yards behind the regular seating (as I requested), and usually has two rows of chairs. For a while the only ones who sat there were me and my (sweet, supportive) husband. Since then, another couple has joined us. I know the husband suffered from headaches until he had back surgery (pretty sure it was back surgery), so I don't know if he still gets some headaches or if he or his wife is bothered by the fragrances, or maybe they're just being supportive. Occasionally some other people will join us. There are also times when the church is so full that the section becomes overflow seating, but usually people wearing heavy fragrance avoid the area. One time when all the seats were full I went to the "cry room" where parents and babies sometimes go and can watch the service via TV, but that room has bright fluorescent lights (and can get loud, obviously) so I try to avoid it.

Overall, this is a great move for our church and I'm so happy they took me seriously. It had been common for me to develop bad headaches and even some migraines after church because of all the perfume, and this separate seating has made a huge difference. If you're thinking of getting a fragrance free zone started at your church, GO FOR IT! :)

By the way, this isn't the first sign I've managed to get posted. See the bottom of this post. Lesson: it doesn't hurt to ask!