Weekly Email Trinity 10
Report of our PCC Away Day
When our PCC met two weeks ago for an away day, we undertook a number of exercises that helped us to sketch out a vision of what we would like All Saints Margaret Street to become over the next 15-20 years. It was an exciting process and very interesting indeed to hear the perspectives of many different people and the priorities and ideas they had.
As we begin to plot out the development of our parish, it is important to have a clear idea of what we want All Saints to become, and where we feel God is calling us to be. It’s good then to move back from that vision in order to plot out how we might make that a reality.
One exercise we undertook was to describe what our “fantasy” All Saints’ Margaret Street might look like in 15 years’ time. “What would our parish look like in an ideal world in 15 years?” was a question we posed to ourselves.
The vision that people responded with was an exciting and compelling one. The language of excellence was one of the first things to crop up. People wanted every element of the experience people have when they come into contact with us to be of the highest quality, and the best we can give in order to communicate the love of God. In the All Saints of the future, our Catholic liturgical tradition and musical provision would continue to be of the highest quality offered to the glory of God, and a precious gift which our parish was well known for.
A picture emerged as people shared their thoughts, of a church that would be full on a Sunday morning and evening with lots of people, confident and joyful in their faith, worshipping with us in person, but also online. It would be a place where new disciples of Jesus Christ are made and initiated into Christ through the sacraments. All Saints would increasingly be a point of connection and contact for many people throughout the world through our online presence. We would be an exemplar of “in person” congregational growth in an Anglo-Catholic setting and also a compelling online presence, communicating the gospel in both spheres.
Many voices on the PCC envisaged a parish which would have large numbers of younger people, and an extensive ministry to children and young families which God was blessing with growth and energy. This would mean that All Saints’ would be a much better multi-generational mix, with young and old making up our congregation in a way that was mutually beneficial, creative and diverse.
The All Saints of the future would be a parish much better connected to its local community in the West End, assisting and hosting local charitable projects, and reaching out in service to the homeless as a way of expressing God’s love in the world.
The ideal All Saints we imagined also had an extensive programme of Christian formation, with many social events, and opportunities for teaching. The All Saints’ of the future would be a place that people would come to from far and wide to access theological conferences, teaching days, and formational projects. We would be known as a place where the best Christian formation takes place and be a resource to other parishes, especially in the Catholic tradition, exploiting both in-person occasions, but also online possibilities.
All Saints would also be a place where a significant refreshment of lay leadership had taken place, with younger people on the PCC, new church officers, and frequent change in key lay leadership roles such as churchwarden. It would be a place where the clergy are excited and energised by their ministry, and see the need for formation and renewal in their own lives as important so as to avoid stagnation and exhaustion. It would also be a place where the ministry of women was valued as highly as possible within the context of the resolution we have passed concerning the ministry of women bishops, and where mutual trust and cooperation had become the dominant culture.
From vision to action: a three year time line.
As we worked back from that exciting vision of what we could be, we highlighted a number of key areas where we could set some achievable goals to help us by God’s grace to achieve that vision. It will be the task of the PCC to draw up those priorities over the next few months. We felt it would be good to set some goals for the next eighteen months orientated towards renewal of some of the basics of our parish life, and then for the PCC to re-convene for another away day in a year and a half to see where we have got to, and plan from there.
The things it makes most sense to me to accomplish in this immediate-term phase over the next eighteen months will be in the areas of recovery from COVID, communication and online presence, and governance. Once these foundations of our parish’s life have been strengthened, in eighteen months’ time after that, I suggest we then turn our minds to tasks such as: improving our parish’s ministry to young people, children and families; expanding further our programmes of theological study; and deepening our engagement with, and service of our local community.
It would make sense to me to concentrate on the following areas over the next eighteen months:
Recovery from COVID
It was widely felt that it could easily take another 18 months to get us back to the point where our parish was before COVID in terms of Sunday attendance. We also need to work out what our future pattern of services will be, and how our church will be open to the public. A thorough renewal of how we welcome people, how we staff our building, and how we encourage people to return to in-person worship will be needed, along with projects to improve our physical facilities, especially in the undercroft.
Communication and connection with the world
Our excellent presence online and the strides forward we have made during lockdowns in terms of broadcasting daily worship need to be developed. Setting up technology so we can continue to broadcast services permanently will be necessary as will be replacement of our sound system which is widely felt not to be up to the task. A thorough review of how we communicate with the world and our parishioners will also be necessary, such as the role of the Parish Paper, a re-boot of the Friends of All Saints, and renewal and expansion of our website.
We need to ensure the governance of our parish operates at the highest possible standards and as efficiently as possible. It was suggested that our PCC committee structure be re-thought and streamlined, and especially that a finance committee be established so that detailed discussion of finances does not need to take up as much time in the plenum of PCC meetings. We need to ensure there is considerably better representation of younger people on our PCC and in lay leadership in our parish, so that the perspective of the young is more keenly felt in our deliberations. There needs to be considerable thought given to renewal of lay leadership in certain key roles. Our church wardens indicated they intend to step down from their roles over the next two years: Chris next year and John the year after to ensure continuity. We need to ensure good succession planning is in place to find two new church wardens.
I urge you to pray for our PCC as we now begin the task of turning these aspirations into a Mission Action Plan, with concrete, achievable goals that will plot out how we go about realising this exciting vision of what All Saints can be. Once that Mission Action Plan is completed, we will communicate it to the whole parish so that we can have a shared understanding and vision of what God is calling us to do and to be, and how he is asking us to accomplish it.
We need volunteers to be stewards for our Assumption procession on the evening of Sunday 15 August. Please speak to Chris Swift after Mass or Evensong & Benediction this Sunday.
An additional incentive to volunteer this year is that dreary Hi-Vis jackets are out and stylish red sashes are in for those who volunteer.
Chris Swift is also happy for potential volunteers to contact him on his mobile: 07966 257231.
Links for Sunday
The link for the Propers for Trinity 10 is at the end of this email.
And click here for the YouTube live stream.
Evensong and Benediction is at 6pm. The music includes Mathias Jesus service, Wesley Thou wilt keep him, Nicholson O salutaris and Tantum ergo. The service is not live-streamed.
The flowers have been given by Anna and Fr Peter Oesterby-Joergensen and their children, in Denmark, in thanksgiving on the occasion of their 40th wedding anniversary on August 1st.
We are looking for volunteers to help with the flowers in church. If you have a particular talent for flower arranging and would like to help from time to time or on a regular basis, please contact Shawn on 07988 287 663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to make a donation for flowers, please contact Shawn or speak to Chris Self.
Tomorrow week our monthly Walsingham Devotion, in the form of the Rosary with intercessions, will be offered at 1130 before the noon Mass.
Prisoners and captives
Nazanin Zhagari-Ratcliffe, Ismaeil Maghrebinejad, Nasrin Sotoudeh
Rohingya Christians in Pakistan, Karen Christians in Burma, and Tigrayan Christians in Ethiopia
David Fettke, Vallery Tchukov, Sara Vice, Katherine Lee, Lorna Smith, Beth Klausing, Hilary Porter, Bruce Ross-Smith, Benjamin Woolf, James Shrimpton, Tony Rodger, Rachel Pereira, Fr Michael Gudgeon, Chris and Carole Radley, Fr Harry Hodgetts, Rosemary Orr, Martin Berka, Barbara Schiefer, Joan Anna SLG, Poppy Harris-Thompson, Sheila Wood, Jennifer Spreckley, Sue Yesnick, Elizabeth Lyon, Rosina Sargon Eskrya, Malcolm Brown, Fr Pip Bevan, Tim Knight, Hillary Rodger, Geoff Vardy, Fr John O’Brien, Charles Hoff, Max Fernandes, Mark Willoughby, Craig Williams
Those known to us recently departed
Ivan Wood, Alan Hewson, Julia Flack, Doris Lyons
Anniversaries of death
8th – Harriet Gray
9th – Michael Goldin
10th – Sidney Browne, Gay Cardew, Leslie York, Andrew Heley, David Johnstone, Charles Oram, Marie-Olivier Mercy, David Welch
11th – Marie O’Connor, Barbara Davis
12th – Beatrice Taylor, Joan Pulham, Philip Merritt, Valerie Hargreaves-Smith
13th – Thomas Straker, Winifred Golelee, Richard Fitzgerald, John Edmonds, Ivy Oram
14th – William Rivington, Mildred Terry, Adriana Grosinski
Supporting All Saints
Parish Giving Scheme
You can set up a regular donation to All Saints here.
We use the Parish Giving Scheme, which allows contributions to be anonymous and deals with Gift Aid, saving our office a lot of time. You can read about how the scheme works here.
Donations for general church purposes
To give by BACS please use the following details, advising the Administrator to collect Gift Aid:
PCC All Saints (Charity no. 1132895)
Sort Code 60-09-15
Parish Legacy Policy
We are always delighted to hear from anyone who wants to support us with a donation. Our PCC Legacy Policy encourages people to leave bequests specifically to one of our two related charities to be used for purposes of lasting value (rather than day to day costs):
All Saints Choir & Music Trust (Charity # 802994)
or The All Saints Foundation (Charity # 273390).