About five years ago All Saints, along with other churches in the Diocese, was asked to devise a Mission Action Plan (MAP for short) that would enable us to be of the most service to our members and the wider community. Our mission is to inform people about God’s love, reconciliation and forgiveness.
But we are such a small church! And there aren’t many of us…
So we decided that the best way we could go ahead was to let people know about the beauty of our lovely church and to make its interior as accommodating as possible to alternative types of worship, as well as creating a space where concerts and other sorts of public meetings could be held which would be in keeping with All Saints’ style.
One of our difficulties has been that our rural congregation is spread over a wide area and it’s often been very difficult to get enough people together in one place to hold a meeting but slowly but surely, we’re getting there. In fact, we’re nearly ready to go. Here is the report that our Lay Rep gave to the recent Regional Council Meeting:
Our Mission Action Plan is moving to Stage 1. Our plans are well advanced and we have passed the Canon 35 Pre-Application and are now putting together our final application, enabling us to re-order the interior of our church, creating a little more space near the chancel step and removing four rows of pews at the west end and renewing our electricity wiring, upgrading our heating and improving the lighting and sound system. The congregation approved the plans at the last Annual Church meeting without objections.
In the newly created space we will fashion a versatile space for refreshments, socialising, meetings, and more varied worship than is possible currently. We will install worktops and storage on the south wall where there will also be a sink, cupboards and dishwasher which will help us make the church more amenable to community based activities and performances. We have also improved our signage and have a strategy for increasing our profile locally and researching opportunities for wide use of the church as a spiritual resource.
Our worship continues and we are experiencing a small growth in numbers. Over Christmas our carol service was very well attended, but our Midnight Eucharist had fewer numbers than previously – a combination of very windy weather and a reluctance to drive long distances home on lonely, dark roads perhaps.
Veronica Almgill Lay Rep.