News Archive - April 2013
This time last year I stood here and talked about Mission Action Planning, it was a directive from the Diocese, some were very sceptical about it but I believe, it has been immensely worthwhile.
We looked at how we as a Church wanted to be described in 5 years time and came up with a vision, "we want to be a church rooted in prayer, witnessing God's love to one another, the local community and the world.
3 priorities were set for the following 5 years:
- to encourage prayer as a way of life and to grow in familiarity with the Word of God, revealed in Scripture
- to increase the number of children and families in the church through age appropriate worship and other activities
- to improve communication within the congregation and the Parish through both traditional modern approaches.
5 SMART goals were set:
- to encourage prayer as a way of life by promoting attendance at daily prayer, facilitating new prayer groups and encouraging personal prayer. Target: to increase attendance at daily prayer and the number of prayer groups by the end on 2014
- To encourage the spiritual growth of members of St Mary's family through: i) guided scriptural reading and other reading, discussion groups quiet days. ii) provide Equipping God's people opportunities. To begin by September 2012
- To improve communication within the Parish by: i)creating a data base of people who have had contact through Baptism, weddings, TOTS and Messy church, ii)exploring the use of FB, twitter, text messaging, web site, email, etc. To begin by December 2012
- To increase the number of families, children and young people attending church activities by: i) introducing Messy church as a monthly activity. ii) nurturing Baptism and wedding couples through follow up and inviting them to special events, iii) reviewing patterns of worship in order to offer greater diversity. Review in 12 months
- To improve functionality of the church building by: achieving improved facilities including: a toilet, kitchen facility and more storage. Target to be completed by Christmas 2015
This was submitted to the Bishop 27/09/2012
How have we got on?
1: I am trusting to the Holy Spirit but target date December 2014
2: The Wednesday morning Holy Communion congregation (14-18) is my target group. I try out everything on them and I believe we are growing together. Gordon has been running some amazing study/reflective groups and Eileen continues to lead a monthly group
3: Contact details for TOTS and Messy Church enable vicar to email and text reminders before each session (it's working well). The TOTS and Messy Church signs have been commented on and some now look out for them.
- Messy Church is growing, it is regularly in double figures (12-15), Good Friday (22)
- TOTS regularly 10+
- We had an excellent welcome back to church afternoon tea at the end of 2012 for Wedding couples
- Baptism families receive reminders for TOTS/MC and children who have been Baptised receive a card on the anniversary of their Baptism for the first 3 years.
- Reviewing Patterns of Worship: this is probably going to be the most challenging because I feel that we have no appropriate form of worship for the families who are responding to Messy Church and TOTS (it's no good saying, we had to fit in) because many of the people coming to messy church have no church background, similarly those coming forward with children for Baptism.
5: Functionality of the church building: Catherine/Graham progress reported
Easter congregations continue to rise from 187 to 197
Easter communicants rose from 144 to 164
7: Thank you
- Thank you to all who work so hard for the mission of the church in this Benefice. Without the support of many people in the congregation we would not be growing and breaking new ground, so thank you everybody who contributes to the life of this church (far too many to list) – we cannot stand still.
- Catherine Hayden is amazing and has worked incredibly hard this year and continues to be an invaluable asset to the Church in this place and to me. She has though been well supported by assistant C/Ws in Chris and Peter who really do deserve a well earned rest from PCC.
- Elisabeth our PCC secretary is taking over some of the administration for weddings and becoming more involved with email contact and all things financial in that field.
- David Mann for keeping the accounts
- Anne Crofts for her immaculate attention to the Church linen
- Jill for her work as sacristan and invaluable support at TOTS
- The whole team who run Sunday School and those involved with Messy Church and TOTS especially Catherine, Sheila and Jill
- Readers, Intercessors, etc….
- Stephen and the choir
- And especially the after service coffee makers and Christine who coordinates the rota
- Flower arrangers, it is a joy to be asked to pray with them before they begin decorating the church for a festival.
There are many more and I'm sorry if I've not missed you out, probably I should just read out the ER.
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