The PCC have been working on a new vision for the Parish that can be simple enough to remember but can also be a tool to inform the work of the PCC and the work of the congregations. It is:
We are one Parish with three welcoming and inclusive churches.
Our vision is for the growth of God’s Kingdom so we aim to:
- Grow in Spiritual Maturity
- Grow in Numbers
- Grow Younger
- Grow in Community Engagement
The PCC will be looking at anything and everything that we do and asking how it contributes to all of these (or how it could contribute). If agenda items do not contribute to these then we need to question whether they should be done. There is nothing about governance in the vision – PCC, Safeguarding, Finance, Buildings, Insurance etc. These things are obviously important but they are a means to an end – not the end in itself.
Growing in Spiritual Maturity
We are all called to be Ministers of the Gospel and we are all on a Spiritual Journey. As a church we need to support people on their journey and in their ministering to others. This may be in groups, but different people learn in different ways and groups doesn’t work for everyone.
When we think about spiritual maturity what does it mean?
• Rooted Faith (Do we understand our faith?)
• Working Faith (What does Faith mean to us in the Workplace?)
• Responsible Faith (What are the implications for Social Issues?)
• Sharing Faith (How do we share it?)
There is a group meeting for six weeks to look at questions like this and work out what we can do as a Parish to help people. You are welcome to join, phone Alan on 01252 820537 to find out more.
Growing in Numbers
The numbers of people worshiping on a Sunday are an indication that we are growing in other ways too – a church that engages with the community grows, a church that cares about young people and families grows, a church that cares about spiritual maturity grows. Last year we had a “Season of Invitation” where the challenge was to not only be a welcoming church, but to be an inviting church too. This is scary for many of us, but we are hoping to run this each year.
We are hoping to grow younger as an average in our congregations – not individually! At a rough guess our average ages are:
- St Johns = 69 (with Sunday School = 45)
- St Georges = 47 (with Dragons = 42)
- St Marks = 39
The average in the Population = 40 (as many over 40 as under)
Now just because we are growing younger doesn’t mean it is not for older people – quite the opposite, it is about being intergenerational – Mission is the commitment of one generation to pass the Gospel onto the next.
Growing in Community Engagement
God’s Mission includes service to the local community with no strings attached. However, our experience is that when we do this then people who are seeking spiritual nourishment join with us on the journey of faith.