Back in October we launched our vision project where we asked the whole church community to give their thoughts on our church. We had over 30 responses returned by the end of November. Some of the suggestions were very simple and easy to put into practice. A simple example is that many people asked for a time of silence before the service. In response we asked the servers to go to the centre of the sanctuary to ring the five minute bell. You may have noticed that now there has been massive reduction in noise before the service. Some other suggestions have already been put into practice or are being trialled.
In short 99% of the five pages of responses have been constructive and it has been very helpful overall. One major area of work has been communication, you may have noticed that the noticeboards have been redone and tidied up. This is part of an overall review of our communication, both inside and outside the church community.
Many of the suggestions will take more thought and approval from the PCC or even a faculty from the Diocese. Over the next six months we will arrange the church council agenda to discuss all the suggestions that have been made. A good example is the relocation of the flagpole to ground level. Many people have been concerned with the danger of putting up the flag on the tower roof. This will be discussed at the January PCC. In the same meeting we will discuss the setting up of Music for All in aid of the church and organ. Other suggestions will be discussed as we progress through the year. Many people responded to the survey asking for Messy Church families and the Sunday morning congregations to be more integrated. This will take some thought and time to get right. We have set up a small group to consider these issues and it will report back to the PCC in March with some ideas. Another issue that arose from the survey is finance and the need to be financially stable as a church. The PCC is already doing many things to address issues around money. The Friends of Christ Church initiative and the patronage book have both been started and we are in a healthier position than in 2015. That doesn’t mean that we have to stop working towards our goal of our income being greater than what we spend as a church.
There were many other ideas and comments all of which have been discussed and will go to the PCC or worship committee for further thinking and prayer. It has been a very positive exercise asking the community what they think of our church. It seems that we are getting many things right at church and that improving our church is an ongoing process. The main thing to be positive about is that so many people responded to the vision project and that so many of us have very good ideas. The more we work together as a family the more we will improve our church community each year.
If you want a detailed list of all the ideas that were submitted and when they will be discussed or started, then in the New Year a list will be put up in church and on our website.
Fr Hywel Snook, Parish Priest