We believe that knowing the difference Jesus can make in people’s lives brings such great value,
freedom and joy that we seek to both live that out and share it by being
In October 2018 the Parochial Church Council (PCC) prepared and spent an evening carrying out a ‘Health Check’ to consider how effective we are in fulfilling our mission. We identified areas of our life and ministries in good health, including our strength as a community with a real desire to grow spiritually, and we identified areas where we seek to prayerfully do more, including development of our outreach activities.
During the Autumn Term 2019 the PCC planned a ‘PCC Away Day’ on Saturday 18th January 2020 as we begin to seek God’s vision for the future, reflecting this in an updated Church Development Plan. We want to ensure that practically and spiritually we continue to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, working towards being the people God has called us to be, and moving forward in the ministries being exercised in our local community.
Key Actions Points:
Making Prayer a Priority
We hold monthly Prayer Meetings, where we are thrilled to find God honouring the honesty and openness of those coming with open hearts and minds; already people are growing more confident in their understanding and practice of praying together in a small group, as well as enjoying the privilege of leading the intercessions during our 10am morning services. For more information, please contact our churchwardens.
Another initiative is our termly Prayer Workshops, seeking to create an informal and relaxed setting where we spend time considering, reflecting and discussing the different aspects of prayer. Our workshops offer practical and spiritual guidance to help us (re)discover the importance and necessity of the power of prayer, both in our own lives and that of our community, and are greatly appreciated by those who are able to attend. For more information please contact our churchwardens.
Prayer plays an important part in our small groups, with a new group now meeting on Monday evenings at our newly refurbished Chapel at Westhumble, in addition to an existing home group which meets during the day. Bible study, opportunities to spiritually grow and learn from one another, sharing and supporting group members, praying together in a smaller group and enjoying great fun and social activities together are just a few of the many benefits people are finding in these groups.
Our 2019 Lent Group was well attended, as was our December Advent Group, they challenged and encouraged us as we prayerfully considered first the mystery of God, and then our journey with Him to the revelation of the Christmas message, Emmanuel, God with us. For 2020 our Lent Group will meet at the Rectory on 26th February (Ash Wednesday) at 7.35pm and then on Tuesdays 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st March all starting at 7.30pm.
Developing our Buildings
We want to offer our beautiful Church and Chapel as a form of outreach, creating centres for wider community involvement.
The redevelopment and redecoration of the Westhumble Chapel was completed in July 2019, with a further addition of new safety railings outside awaiting authorization before being installed. We have replaced most of the old pews with chairs for greater flexibility for community use, have installed a small kitchen area, a toilet and significant upgrading and decoration of the interior of the whole building.
The Chapel is also now licensed as a venue for weddings, and our prayer is that this redevelopment will encourage more community use as an outreach facility. We are exploring the necessary legal requirements to ascertain if at a future date we may be able to hire the facilities to local user groups, either for ‘one off’ events or as part of an ongoing hire arrangement.
Whilst this possibility is being explored, our church premises insurance allows us to use the Chapel for church related activities and on Saturday 14th December from 2pm to 4pm December we hosted a very well attended Christmas Café, full of vibrancy, good cheer, Christmas opportunities and refreshments including mulled wine and mince pies. It proved to be a wonderful opportunity for the local community to share together in a festive mood!
In the Parish Church a new Audio Visual System was installed in February 2019. We believe this exciting new development has the potential to significantly improve the effective communication of the gospel, combining both visual and audible forms of communication. Already it has created an enjoyable environment for Family Services and school assemblies, bringing a new dimension to our times of worship and learning together.
This is just a part of the exciting vision we believe God is calling us to be and do as we move forward here in the Parish. We affirm the ministries being exercised and developed, as we continue to build the Kingdom of God.