Ministry Update April 2018
Children and Families Maternity Cover
As you are probably aware, Bethan Fogell, Children and Families Leader, will commence maternity leave at the end of April. Following a thorough recruitment process, I am pleased to advise that Jo Jones and Trevor Hood will share the role to cover Bethan’s leave. Both are members of the church and are looking forward to working with our large team of volunteers who help to deliver the ministry for children and families.
Jo and Trevor will each work 20 hours per week and focus on different aspects of this area of ministry. Jo will focus on leading Sunday groups, schools work, pre-school children and carers work and outreach events. Trevor will focus on the planning and organisation of day to day ministry, larger events and most aspects of administration, as well as continuing to oversee baptism preparation. A handover process has begun and they will start in post on 23 April, which is Bethan’s final week of work.
We send our love and prayers to Bethan and Hugh as they prepare for the arrival of their baby.
Governance and Worship Reviews
As announced at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and then communicated again in December, in order for us to more effectively fulfil our mission as a church; reach all parts of our community and to help us continue to grow as disciples, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) agreed to my request to establish two working groups to review our parish governance and also our worship pattern.
The working group looking at governance carefully considered our context, the legal and charitable obligations of the PCC and also researched how governance works in other large churches, learning from good practice and effective approaches. The working group presented its initial report to the PCC meeting in March.
Following discussion and consultation, the PCC has endorsed the general principles set out in the Governance Working Group Report and in particular the proposal for a more strategically oriented PCC, meeting less frequently, initially set at six times per year including two extended meetings. This will be the pattern of meetings for the next PCC year, starting after the APCM later this month.
Further work continues looking at PCC committees and how these can work most effectively to support our ministry, developing collaboration between paid staff and volunteers so that skills and expertise are utilised to best effect. The worship review groups have also reported their initial findings. One group was tasked with reviewing our current service pattern and how effectively, within our overall ministry strategy, it is fulfilling our mission to the parish now and for the years to come. The group reviewed service styles/format, attendance patterns over time, the age profile of services and solicited feedback from representatives of each congregation. Published information about the demographics of our parish were also studied. The second group considered worship provision in a range of other large churches, including meeting with the leadership of several of these churches and visiting services.
Building upon the excellent foundational work, I have now begun to consult, pray and reflect in order to develop recommendations as to how, within our overall ministry as a church, our worship pattern can best serve our community over the next five to eight years. These recommendations will then be considered by the staff and PCC and then shared with the wider church as soon as we are in a position to do so, together with an implementation plan. If you have any questions or comments, please speak to me or either of our Church Wardens, Julia Mould and Peter Levinsohn.
Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) and Parochial Church Council (PCC) elections
Everyone is warmly invited to the APCM on Thursday 26 April, 7.30pm at The Dell Centre. Further details are in the current Church Matters! and on the website. At this meeting we will elect new members of the PCC (six vacancies). Can I encourage you to prayerfully consider whether God may be prompting you to either stand for election or nominate someone. Nomination forms are available now at both churches. If you would like to find out more, please speak with me, one of the wardens or PCC Secretary John Cooper.
Papers for the APCM will be available from Sunday 15 April. If you have any questions that you would like to raise at the meeting, then please email them to the Parish Office by Friday 20 April.
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support as we seek to discern God’s will for the ministry and development of His church in Ashtead.
I pray you may know the joy and hope of the risen Christ afresh this Easter.
In His Love, Richard Jones, Rector