Parish Forum Report – 19th September 2021

Last week we met to talk about the future as a single Parish.  All four churches were represented and we ensured mixed tables for a well balanced discussion.  Below is a selection of the comments made both during feedback and written on the table notes.  Hopefully for those who were unable to come this will give a flavour of how this event unfolded.

How can we be a Church that reaches young people, families and non churched people?

  • Simple Language
  • More participation
  • Small groups for deeper discussion
  • Balance of formal and Informal
  • School work to reach Parents
  • Food is always a good way for relationship to form
  • Clubs – film club, revision club etc
  • An audit – who/where/why are the young people
  • Try ideas again – just because it didn’t work once doesn’t mean it was a bad idea
  • Participate – if we agree or not we need to try things to give honest feedback.
  • Are we willing to give of ourselves?
  • We mustn’t ignore the older folk. Harvest/Remembrance etc
  • We need the doors open – not just on Sunday
  • If we only cater for those who come now who will fill church offices (Wardens PCC etc) in the future?
  • Advertising?  Are services accessible?  Do the right people know about them?
  • Can we have a Mission field to those who haven’t  been to church for 70 years?
  • We need Stepping stones – don’t make the gaps too big for people to easily make the next step.
  • Listen to those on the ‘wavelength’ of those outside church
  • Buy a Minibus?
  • Gardening and other activities that may attract those living in the area

What are you anxious about?

  • If churches aren’t open we lose the congregation
  • The Traditional Communion service is not on Sunday
  • We are a missionary movement – why no Mission to Muslims?
  • That there will be no church in 30 years
  • Few people but many jobs
  • Dwindling numbers – closing churches

What are you Hopeful about?

  • During Plagues and pestilence – God’s people must overcome
  • Energized by numbers
  • Energized by feeding the community in the week
  • Coffee outside at St Barnabas
  • Young people and their climate challenge
  • God knows our fears, he loves us – we should trust him
  • This Parish Forum is proof people are willing to meet together.
  • The Holy Spirit will guide us
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