Richard's Summary Reflection on last year, given at the Annual Parochial Meeting on April 7th

Posted by Phil Marshall on 26/04/2011 10:00

St John's Hoscar Mission Crabtree Mission

 

 

 

 

 

PathwaysAs we continue to follow the strategy of Pathways – going out to connect with people where they are to invite them to begin a journey to faith and then grow in faith as the Holy Spirit enables – I’m pleased to present this summary paper outlining developments in the last twelve months.  This is not an exhaustive list.

We have much to thank the Lord for as we continue to seek to grow and serve as a community of disciples.

Thank you for participation in our shared ministry.

Richard

 

Worship:

  • Encouraged by continuing deepening and growth of services.  We seek to offer a “menu” to accommodate different expressions of worship & engage people where they are.  Richness in the variety.  (Note: success of Easter & Christmas programmes.)
  • Success of the new Sunday morning services (Sep)
  • Successful launch of Cafe church (every 6-7 weeks)
  • Re-decoration of Crabtree & refurbishment
  • Meet desire for a deeper and wider spirituality e.g. Inaugural “Quiet Day”; Easter Labyrinth; Meditations etc.  One of the reasons for the new Sunday services.
  • Monthly service of Prayer for Healing continues to build & connects with pastoral work
  • Extended Home Communion ministry.  Monthly visits to 4 residential care homes and increasing number of home communion visits.
  • Appointment of Tom Cooper as Hon. Church Organist
  • Development of adult and youth worship bands.  Time has been given to training in contemporary music.
  • Improved audio-visual team to support worship. Adopted new software & initiated new processes.

 

Teaching:

  • Observed the calendar of the Christian year using the richness and variety of liturgy
  • Sermon Series:

To Calvary & Beyond (Luke); Living The Gospel (Stewardship); The Spreading Flame (Acts); The “I Am Sayings” (John); All at Sea (Jonah); A Time For... (Family, Friends, God); The Call (Servanthood); Follow The Star (Christmas); Thirsty? – Prayer; God’s New Society (Ephesians)

  • 3 new housegroups formed. Total of 16 housegroups.
  • Re-modelled housegroup notes & use of appropriate published resources (e.g. Prayer) to complement preaching series.
  • Clergy Q&A visits to housegroups throughout the year
  • Success of Cafe church
  • Ministry in schools and mid-week young people’s groups
  • Continuing with training evenings for Teaching team and Housegroup Leaders

 

Prayer:                       

  • Building on the Monday night prayer meeting, we continue to seek to deepen our commitment to prayer.  Launched @ Pentecost, “Engage” & Thursday 7am prayer meetings. Note: Staff prayers on Monday and Wednesday mornings.
  • Continuing to develop Prayer area in church
  • 2011 Teaching series “Thirsty?” and STWG Prayer Mugs
  • Importance of the Prayer Chains

 

Serving:          

  • Encouraged by increasing participation & emergence of new ministries
  • Completed volunteer role descriptions for all opportunities 
  • Hosted Ministry Fair (Sep)
  • Held inaugural Thank You Service for Volunteers (Feb) 
  • Encouraged the ongoing development of teams across all areas of ministry

 

Giving:            

  • In difficult economic times, honouring our discipleship responsibilities in this area continues to be stretching. The PCC have made a commitment to step out in faith through prayerfully using reserves to fund the work of God as we discern the leading of the Holy Spirit (e.g. appointment of full time Youth & Children’s Worker).  This is not sustainable long term. Note: increasing parish share paid in full.
  • Disappointing “Living The Gospel” stewardship appeal
  • Honoured our commitment to give away 10% of our annual income to support mission outside the parish
  • Humbled by response to extraordinary appeals i.e Haiti; Japan

 

 

Communication:

  • Tremendous success of new website. Average 185 unique visitors each week. Average time spent viewing the site has increased to 6 minutes per visit. Visitors tend to view 7 pages per visit. The top 3 most popular pages are the Vicar’s blog; Upcoming Events and Sermon Downloads. Note: 75% of bookings for the forthcoming “Easter Eggstravaganza” have been made on-line!
  • Increasing demand for “The Bridge” (400 copies each month)
  • Proactive Press releases generating coverage
  • Twitter feeds
  • New Parish Directory

 

Evangelism:

  • Importance of every member ministry through our day to day living & engagement through our “pathways strategy”
  • Baptism Prep ( Families of 29 children completed the 3 session preparation course)
  • Weekly Parent & Toddler & twice termly “Little Stars” ministry. 60 families!
  • Ministry to young people throughout the week
  • “The Treat” (Alternative to Halloween)
  • CAP course in association with The Grove.  Disappointing so re-working for 2011/2
  • Inquiry courses “Explore” after Easter, which had a poor response; success of Alpha in the Hop Vine (Sep-Dec)
  • Developing Men’s Ministry “Fellaship”.  Desire to expand to over 40s?
  • Launch of “Fragrance”
  • Commitment to ministry in schools.  2 assemblies every other week and termly services.  Lessons taken in St. John’s and Lordsgate.  New mid week after school club supported by the church in Lordsgate.  “Moving On” service.
  • Importance of pastoral ministry particularly Bereavement (51 funerals) and Weddings (5). Note: 5 other enquiries.
  • Importance of the wonderful appearance of church premises
  • Supported mission trips to Belarus; Paraguay and visits of children from Chernobyl
  • Christmas programme e.g. POSADA; Carol Singing in the village etc.
  • Actively investigating “Messy Church”

Community:

  • Active pastoral visitation
  • Maundy Thursday Meal; Easter breakfast; Mothers Union & Women’s Fellowship trips; Families Residential Weekend (Bala); MU Residential; Summer socials; Harvest Meal; Church Houseparty (Grange over Sands); PUSH & JCs weekend away (Hawes); Trips to concerts & activities (e.g. Rock & River)
  • Parishioners serving as School Governors; with uniform organisations & other groups
  • Mid-week coffee bar in church
  • Coffee before, between & after services
  • Deepening relationships with uniform organisations
  • Women’s Fellowship & Mother’s Union
  • Christian Aid week
  • Jean & Pauline handle 2-3 genealogical requests per week
  • Commitment to Fair Trade
  • Begun building viral community through social media (e.g. Facebook; Twitter etc.)
  • Richard served as Chaplain to the Mayor & Council of West Lancashire

 

Children & Youth

  • Increasing numbers especially mid-week.  Majority unchurched & do not attend on Sundays.  Following Christine’s appointment, FROG now meets weekly & other areas are developing with Joanna.

 

All Stars           32 children on the register

JC’s                  30        “

FROG               14        “

PUSH               21        “

Youth Band      11        “

Puppets           5          “ 

 

  • Appointment of Christine Spencer as Full Time Youth & Children’s worker.
  • Re-launch of Puppet Ministry
  • Success of Youth Alpha
  • Encouragement of Youth Band
  • Encouragement of rota of volunteers to staff crèche on Sunday @ 11am
  • Shortage of volunteers to meet the needs and opportunities that we have.

 

Pastoral Care:

  • Ever increasing demands. Innumerable visits.
  • Expanding & committed team
  • Increasingly proactive visitation as well as response visitation
  • Bereavement care and visitation including monthly Horizon drop in which has been reviewed and changed due to lack of interest
  • Annual bereavement service
  • Meals ministry
  • Home communion to 4 residential care homes monthly (added Beaufort this year) plus individual visits

 

Premises:

I’m very grateful to the large team who continue to care for all the premises in the parish.  The Church Wardens will report on this aspect of our shared ministry.  But, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the CHARP Committee who have worked tirelessly to complete the review and proposal for the redevelopment of the church hall.  I will speak about this during my address at the APCM meeting.



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