Work is progressing well on our Mission Action Plan for 2015-20.
The Story So Far
• We have built a snapshot of our congregation and community based on statistics, census data and other information.
• We have taken a look at the large amount of work currently going on at St Mary’s and how well it’s doing.
• We have listened to the congregation in multiple ways, thanks to the Mission Project undertaken by Claire, Daphne and Caroline, the three ordinands training for ordained ministry.
• The Church Council has begun to get a picture of where we are.
Most Recent Developments
On Saturday 17th January, the Church Council met for a day’s vision building at Dimson Lodge. Fortified by tea, coffee and pizza from Melanzana, we had feedback from the ordinands on what they had heard from the congregation about what was important to them at St Mary’s. This came under three headings:
• Worship: music, prayer, preaching all in the beauty of the church building.
• Community: caring for others in a friendly, inclusive community.
• Social Justice: concerns around housing, poverty, loneliness, youth provision and older people.
The PCC, ably assisted by the project management experience of Revd. Philip Krinks, then spent the bulk of the day looking at five areas of work which seemed to make sense in the light of this.
The first three areas are specific areas of work and relate to the ordinands listening project:
• Forming Christ’s Disciples: how our worship, small groups and engagement with various groups (including children, young people, enquirers) might be developed.
• Tending God’s People: How we care for each other within the church and reach out to care for those in our parish. How we can all learn to care and be cared for.
• Transforming the World: How we harness the concerns for social justice that people have shared through work with one another and with other agencies locally. The other two areas were the work we need to do in terms of the resources we need to deliver on these three areas of work, namely:
• Stewarding God’s Treasure: how we increase our income from the congregation and from other sources and how we seek to secure a more stable financial future through development work.
• Nurturing Time and Talents: how we identify and develop the gifts and talents of church members and how we can develop leadership and new vocations.
Many exciting ideas were shared and discussed and the day concluded with an agreement that various individuals would work with the clergy, Ministry Team and others to produce a list of proposals in each of these five areas.
What Happens Next?
When the PCC meets on 10th March it will hopefully have a draft Mission Action Plan to look at from all this work. That will – inevitably – need some pruning and adjusting. The plan is then to present that plan to the church at the Annual Church Meeting, which this year is taking place on Sunday 26th April, both during and after the 11am service. We hope all will attend. We are considering inviting the 8.30am congregation and the 6.30pm congregation members to join us for one united service, probably followed by a church lunch, to celebrate our work as a church and to respond to the Mission Action Plan.
Please do continue to engage with the clergy, with the Ministry Team and with the PCC about our Mission Action Plan. It promises to set an exciting – and challenging – agenda for the next five years.