From the Clergy – Sept 2018

The Vicar writes…..

Dear Friends,

“As an open and welcoming church our vision is to be at the heart of the community sharing faith and friendship to do God’s work. We aim to be a strong vibrant church committed to all ages.”

This is our Vision Statement which has developed out of the work we have done towards producing our Mission Action Plan (MAP). You may remember that in July 2017 the PCC had an Awayday to come up with ideas for the future and to begin the process of formulating a Mission Action Plan. Then we shared the suggestions with the wider congregation and asked for their contributions too.

Most of the suggestions were concerned with how we can ensure the future of St Katharine’s given that none of us are getting any younger! How can we encourage a new generation of worshippers? A small sub-committee came together to sift through those ideas and we have now produced our MAP and submitted it to the Bishop.

We identified five priorities to work on over the next five years:

  • To encourage people into the church we will make the building more accessible to the community.
  • To encourage more young adults and families to be part of our worship.
  • We will participate in mission in the community by identifying its needs
  • For planned giving to be increased by 2.5% per annum by 2020, and 5% by 2023
  • To encourage and support new vocations by encouraging people to consider training for authorised and licensed ministry in the church.

We have already started working on some of these priorities. For example, the church is open now on most Saturday mornings for prayer (priority 1). Earlier this year we introduced Admission to Communion before Confirmation, and also in church we have on trial an area set aside for toddlers and young children and their parents as a means of making them feel more welcome (priority 2). This summer we have been distributing the school holiday lunches from church (priority 3). Plans are underway for a Stewardship Campaign (priority 4)

To help us achieve the priorities we intend to set up a number of sub-committees but more about those later!

I’m really encouraged by our progress so far but we need to remember that all we do in God’s name has to be supported and undergirded by prayer, and that’s where we need your help. Through prayer we can all be involved even if someone else is doing the practical things. Without prayer we’ll never know if we’re truly following God’s plan for us.

Jeremiah says, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jer.29.11)

Our MAP is there to realise God’s promised future with hope for St Katharine’s. I would love you all to be involved in some way.  God has blessed us with so much already and surely wants to bless us with more.  Over the coming months we’ll give you pointers for prayers and opportunities to get involved. Here is a suggestion for prayer to get you started:

Lord, we long for others to know the fellowship we share at St Katharine’s. We long for them to know you as their Saviour. As we open our doors this month may those who enter find a warm welcome, a holy place and peace in their hearts.  Amen

Take care all of you. God Bless, Angela