Our Mission Action Plan
1. Children, young people and families
On our last Mission Action Plan we stated our intention to follow up baptisms with a pastoral visit to the baptism family. Unfortunately this has not been achieved and we will continue to look at ways of making this happen. The Mothers' Union have agreed to continue to send out baptism anniversary cards for 4 years.
We are fortunate that, in St Mary's Club, we have a thriving Sunday school and we have a number of parents who are actively involved, not only in the running of St Mary's Club, but also in the day-to-day life of the church. We will seek to inform members of the congregation of work done in St Mary's Club by having periodic presentations at the Family Service showing recent activities and projects. It is good to see so many children in St Mary's Club and, while many members of St Mary's Club come faithfully week by week, for some attendance is more spasmodic and we are looking at ways of encouraging more regular attendance. We therefore propose to try the following:-
- Giving each child a sticker for each attendance, with each child having a card to put the stickers on. At the end of the school year there will be prizes for the best attendances.
- We now have a number of children in the 10+ age group and our challenge is how to maintain their interest and involvement in St Mary's. We realise that there is probably no "one size fits all" solution to this, and so are proposing to try the following strategies:-
- Encouraging young people to become actively involved in the 10.15 am Sunday service through acting as servers and sidesmen.
- Establishing a group within St Mary's Club where older children will be encouraged to explore and deepen their Christian faith. This will be done initially using the Youth Emmaus course.
We now have a group of young people who form a junior choir and who join the main choir at Family Services and some festivals and we will look at ways in which this may be strengthened and expanded.
We will monitor the success of these initiatives by:
- Monitoring the attendances of all children to see if a more regular pattern of attendance has been achieved.
- Counting the number of older children in the 10.15 am Sunday service, including the choir.
- Recording the attendance of older children in St Mary's Club.
2. Outreach and Evangelism
Our website is now "up and running" but we now need people who know how to use the website and are prepared to be responsible for specific areas of our activities (eg Fundraising, St Mary's Club, Mothers' Union, etc) in order to ensure that all relevant information is entered on the website and that this information is kept up to date.
We have recently run an Alpha course. While this course did not attract and maintain interest from people outside our church, it was very successful in attracting a wide age range of church members and building up fellowship among those attending. This was our first attempt at Alpha and much useful experience was gained.
Throughout the year we have a number of fundraising and social events. While these are generally well supported there have been occasions when publicity was late, scanty or both. We also run a number of special services (such as Christingle, Mothering Sunday, All Souls) throughout the year which we feel might be better supported if more publicity was given to them. In addition there are regular services throughout the week which are not well attended and might also benefit from greater publicity.
We feel that our focus for 2009/10 should therefore be:-
- Seeking church members willing to take responsibility for updating specific area of information on our website and to provide appropriate training.
- Running a second Alpha course, using the experience and expertise gained.
- Improving publicity for our fundraising events by ensuring that posters are placed a reasonable time in advance in prominent places - both in the town and in nearby villages, by having tickets available in good time, by putting information in an eye-catching form in the parish magazine and by seeking publicity in the local press and radio, when appropriate.
- Looking at ways to increase the awareness of special services and regular weekday services.
We will measure our success by:
- Monitoring the website at intervals to ensure that it is regularly updated.
- Monitoring the number of hits the website receives each month.
- Counting the number of people attending the next Alpha course, noting how many of these are not regular church members and how many of these make a firm commitment to Christ.
- Noting any increase in numbers attending fundraising events.
- Monitoring any increase in attendance at special services and our regular weekday services.
3. Strengthening the spiritual life of the Church
The spiritual life of our existing congregation remains an important item in our Mission Action Plan. Unfortunately, the planned Quiet Day did not materialise and so this is an ongoing part of our new Plan. We will also look at the possibility of organising a parish pilgrimage to Walsingham.
Music is a very important part of the worship and spirituality of our church.
Many of those attending the Alpha course felt that they wanted further opportunities to examine and deepen their Christian faith within the context of the trust and fellowship built up on the course.
Therefore our priorities for 2009/10 are:
- Organising a Parish Quiet Day on a Saturday in 2009.
- Recruiting an organist and Director of Music as soon as possible.
- Establishing a regular house group for those who attended the Alpha course in early 2009.
We will measure our success by:
- Counting the number of people attending the Quiet Day.
- Noting the number of people attending the "Alpha" house group and seeking feedback from members.
4. Pastoral Care
Like many churches, we have a number of church members who are unable to get to church because of age, illness or infirmity and it is difficult for the Vicar to bring communion frequently to all those who would like this. Fortunately, we also have a number of licensed Chalice Assistants and so it should be possible to significantly increase the number of sick communions taken to people's homes. It must be emphasised that this is not designed to replace the Vicar's visits but to augment the number of visits made and to provide a service when the Vicar is on holiday or ill. This is entirely voluntary and Chalice Assistants can also choose whether they would like to take sick communions individually or in pairs. It is proposed initially to try this proposal for a year and then to review how it is working.
Our plan, therefore, for 2009/10 is:
- To find out which Chalice Assistants would be willing to undertake this duty.
- To ensure that proper training is given for this important task.
- To establish a rota for sick communion visits.
We will measure our success by:
- Noting the increase in the number of sick communions given.
Getting regular feedback from Chalice Assistants on how the system is working.
Last year's Mission Action Plan
For reference, our Mission Action Plan for 2009 was as follows:
These are our current plans and aims to widen and deepen our faith and our involvement in the church and the community.
Growing Together through Worship and Prayer
- Using the Children's Bible at Family Services
- Wider advertising of Mothering Sunday, Christingle and Family Services
- Involving children and families more in our worship
- Producing a single services sheet to cover the whole of the baptism service
Growing up Through Teaching and Nurture
- Bible Sunday in November
- Organising a Quiet Day at Corwen
- Bible Study Group on Genesis
- Provide Certificates for those who attend courses
Growing through Outreach and Evangelism
- Establish a website
- Create a Welcome Information Pack
- Publish our Mission Action Plan
- Find an editor for the Magazine
Growing through Justice and Care
- Fair-Trade goods available in Church
- Advertising and promoting Fair-Trade in the Magazine
- Pastoral visiting and follow-up for Baptism families