Parish Away Day

Our Away Day was a really positive time for everyone who was there – and hopefully that will filter through to those who were not able to be there.

More information will follow, but for now you can read some of the discussion points below.

In the morning we had a time of worship followed by a look round St Nicholas’ church, Radford Semele, before heading to St Michael’s Bishops Itchington.  After tea and coffee, we settled down to start sharing our thoughts about where we are, and where we could be.

There will be more feedback from that section to follow.  The MLT will meet on Monday 9 May to begin the discussions following today, and will report back to the church in due course.  Expect more information in the church magazine next month.

For now, I will share what we did in the afternoon.  We split into church groups to discuss what we could do in response to the morning session.  The groups talked for 40-50 minutes, before coming up with two things, to set the agenda for the next months and years.  Here is what was said:

Group A (Studley)

  • Bridge the gap between us and families outside the church (getting to know people, making friends, exploring having a families worker)
  • Make sure people inside the church feel valued and cared for (pastoral care, better communication inside and outside the church)

Group B (Studley)

  • Renovate the church to make the ambience inviting (reimagining the space, modernising it, exploring new ways of using it)
  • Rejuvenate the attitude to bring everyone together (finding ways to move together)

Group C (Mappleborough Green)

  • More publicity / visibility (better signage, improving profile in village) ‘Arden Marches’ not a helpful identity, too corporate, church is lost
  • Service pattern changes (fewer communion services with fewer clergy, perhaps have a cafe-style service, more school services etc.)

Group D (Morton Bagot and Oldberrow)

  • Stick to the rota for the monthly service pattern (it confuses people when the services move)
  • Having both churches open and welcoming for visitors (this may involve putting electricity into Morton Bagot)

These are points for initial discussion – no decisions have been made.  However they are a good starting point.  The common theme is this: as churches we need to have the mindset that we need to get out of our churches and into our communities.  We need to take our faith into the world, rather than expecting the world to join us on a Sunday morning.

It was a challenging, but I think hugely encouraging day, where there were some really good ideas, and a growing sense of vision and purpose amongst our congregations.

Ben Green