As many of you will know, over the past few years the Ministry Team have been having one-to-one conversations with all regular members of our St Mary’s community. It has given people the chance to talk about their faith, and to see where we might offer opportunities of growth. Here we look back on how it has gone.
Invitations were usually sent by email, or hard copy, with a covering note about the scheme. They were accompanied by a leaflet about the nature of the conversations, including confidentiality, and some sample questions that might be considered.
If there was no response after about 3 weeks there was a follow up contact, which sometimes involved a text, phone call or checking face to face that the invitation had arrived and whether the recipient wanted to arrange a time to meet.
First let’s look at the figures:
- 216 people were invited
- 127 (59%) accepted the opportunity
- 43 (20%) declined
- 34 (16%) did not reply – to the first and a follow up invitation
- 12 (6%) showed interest but asked if it could be at a later date.
To give the flavour of how it went here are some comments from
- a) members of the ministry team:
- It was heartening that so many people accepted the invitation – and a privilege and pleasure to spend the time deepening relationships while talking about such important matters.
- It was rewarding and humbling to realise what level of faith and belief already exists within our St Mary’s community, as well as helping some to see the connection between Christian faith and daily life.
- b) members of the congregation
- “I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, but I’m always up for giving things a go – and I’m so glad I did!”
- “I really did find the conversation thought-provoking and stimulating”
- “Thank you for dedicating this time to me”
- “This has helped me to see how I could frame my life in a slightly different way, allowing God to guide me”
- “Many thanks for your sympathetic ear – you were most helpful”
We may pick up this scheme again in the future, in a similar or different form. It certainly fits well with our Mission Action Plan and the concept of ‘Growing together with God’ and, after all, it lies at the centre of why we belong to St Mary’s and what our ministry is all about.