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