The Vicar writes…..
Address given at the Annual Parochial Meeting on 22nd April
At last year’s APCM I left you with a question. “What do you think we should do next?”
You’ve heard a lot about MAPs (Mission Action Plans) this last year. The Bishop has asked every Parish to produce its own MAP and we are in middle of that process. MAP is all about the future. What do we want this church to look like in five years’ time? What is our vision? How are we going to achieve that? I think MAPs are a really good thing because the process makes you think about your mission and the needs of the parish and helps you to prioritise those needs and decide what to do. Then it helps you to review what you’ve done and the results and that in turn leads you onto the next step.
It’s a cyclical process of review and action. Our PCC Awayday in July brought up some excellent ideas and suggestions, some of which were so good that we’ve put them into action already. Things like involving the children more in our service – helping with the collection, and bringing up the bread and wine for communion. We invited Blackrod Church School choir to join us at Harvest and that was a lovely celebration of All Age worship. We had a fantastic Christingle service which was enjoyed by young and old. We are not short of ideas but we do need people willing to get involved. We need people to take a leading role because unfortunately I can’t do all the things I’d like to do. I am sure that God has blessed us with the people we need to take this church forward. So I ask you all to prayerfully ask yourselves “What is God calling me to do?”
The next year is going to be very busy until we get a new Team Rector and Team Vicar in place. I’m not going to be here, at St Katharine’s, as much as I am now and I’m grateful to Carol, Heather and Alan who’ve agreed once more to step up to the plate and cover here so that I can take a service elsewhere in the team. On Sundays Carol will be taking the 8am and I’ll be covering 8am somewhere else, and occasionally they will cover the 11am Service. We are very blessed to have their ministry amongst us and I thank God for their servant hearts.
In the APCM reports* you can see that we’ve lots to celebrate but also challenges. We paid our parish share and owe our thanks to Jean our Treasurer who keeps the books balanced and in order, but giving generally is down and we need to address that. We will be looking at stewardship this year, not just of money, but also time and talents.
The church building is in good repair but we need to keep on top it. The mosaic floor will be a big project this year and cause some disruption, but it will be worth it so that St Katharine’s can continue to serve the community as a beautiful place of worship.
The annual report reminds us of all the activity and hard work that makes us a church. The church is the people and we are fortunate to have a committed team of people who are willing and able to give what it takes.
But we must always strive to see how we can do things better. We can’t afford to sit back on our laurels. There is much more to be done. As St John says in our reading this morning, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” 1 John 3.18
God bless you all for reading this and for your part in the life and worship at St Katharine’s.
*You can pick up a copy of the Annual Report from church.