Rectors Report to Churchwardens Standing Committee 25 July 2017


As the summer holiday period approaches we have opportunities to take time to refresh ourselves and to prepare for the coming period running up through Harvest, Remembrance, Advent and Christmas.  I am very much still in the learning and understanding phase of my time in the Mission Commuity, but I genuinely consider that the coming year and beyond need us to address the ‘Mission’ element of our being as a ‘Mission Community.  We need to use our limited resources to find ways to understand and develop our outward engagement with our communities – not asking our existing members to do more – but perhaps to be open to doing things differently.  

Albert Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.

To be a thriving and growing church today we do need to reflect upon the things we do and ask whether the things we do will encourage others to hear God’s word and respond to it.  I think that this must be a long term theme for us as a Team,  That is not to imply that we should not continue to do those things which encourage and address the needs of those who are already part of the church community – far from it.  However, we all need to think and pray about the future growth of our faith here in the Axe Valley.  It will be a recurring theme as we progress together.

AVMC Away Day –Planning and Visioning

At our last meeting we agreed that we would plan a ‘Visioning Day’ for the Mission Community for 21 October 2017.  General planning for this is now progressing and I await confirmation of the venue in the next couple of days.  I envisage that we will start promoting the event in the next couple of weeks, once the venue is confirmed.  The day will be open to all church members.  A plan for the day is also progressing and will be communicated to Churchwardens well in advance.  For everyone to be able to contribute and take part churchwardens will not be expected to take responsibility for any housekeeping or organisation and responsibility for the event.

A key theme for the day will relate to ‘Welcome and hospitality’.  When asking about the strengths individual churches bring to their work an oft cited key trait is that we are ‘a welcoming church’.  Indeed I have never known a church which says they are not a welcoming church,  Yet ‘welcome’ is surely not experienced because it is the intention of the church but as the experience of those who try to engage afresh with the church.  Do we understand how welcome is experienced by different users – and what evidence do we have that what we want to offer is the welcome experienced by those who come in ?  I would ask that you might give these questions and issues some consideration in the near future.  I would appreciate discussing your thoughts and reflections.

Devotional Team

A small group of us have been meeting (by invitation) for prayer, planning and mutual support.  This group includes :Su Clarke, Mary Harding, Tony Nixon, Clive Sedgewick, Geoff Walsh.  Each member of this group will be asked to co-ordinate specific aspects of the ‘Mission and Ministry’ of the Community.  The team has now met three times and I will provide further detail of progress and development at our next meeting.

Service Times

No further work to report since our last meeting.  Hopefully this will progress post the ‘Visioning Day’.

Axminster Churches Together (ACT)

This group is doing some outstanding work – especially through Kay D’Albertanson and Pippins.  It was really clear at the Axminster Care Service AGM last week, that the involvement and leadership of the churches and ACT is vital in serving the community but is not well recognised.  It seems important to me that we raise the understanding of churches and public that this is real work of community engagement, action and support.  I would like to propose that we host some activities to promote ACT and its work within our churches.

Say One For Me … &  Morning Prayer

I am really gratified and thankful for the ongoing support these are receiving.  Thank you.

Safeguarding

See main meeting agenda item and Safeguarding Policy Statement

Conclusion

This is a relatively short report as we continue to get to know each other and learn about how to best work together.  Prayer initiatives and minor changes to the way we approach our work will continue to be considered, implemented and reviewed.  There are things to be learned at every stage of the way, but as we all seek to discern and fulfil the will of God in this area, we can take real confidence from sharing purpose and approach.  I would be grateful if you would share this Report with your PCCs following each of our Churchwarden’s meetings.

God Bless us all in our service to Him.

Clive Sedgewick       25 July 2017


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