Members of the Church of England (Anglicans)are part of the wider Christian Church

 

 

The Church of England is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It worships the one true God, who is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith that is uniquely revealed in the Bible and set out ion the statements of faith developed in the Early Church that are still used in the Church's worship today.

Find out more by visiting the Church of England Website


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St James is part of God's presence in the community of Mere Green. We aim:

  • to show God's love in worship and service;
  • to offer a place where people feel welcomed and valued;
  • and to invite all people to share and journey with us in a deepening relationship with God
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                                     St James' Hill Vision Day 1st July 2017

                         Reimagining Mission of Mere Green

Aims

The purpose of the day was to have worship, discuss the themes of Church Growth, St James Church Centre, Worship and Liturgy and the St James Church Building and Renovation. The format included short presentations, discussion and collating responses for each of the themes discussed. This document is a summary of the feedback received in the discussion sessions.

Prayer and Ice breaker session

We started with welcome refreshments and had inspiring Morning Prayers led by Dr Paul Giles, Reader, St James Church with hymns "ALL are Welcome" and Scripture Reading from Ephesians 4:1-16, including Church Growth Prayer.

We then had an icebreaker session in which each person attending chose a picture card and explained why they thought it relevant to St James. This lead to enjoyable discussion highlighting positive characteristics of St James as follows:

Ice breaker session

Warmth Passionate Independent

Strengthened, Life affirming, positive Fellowship Hospitality

Coming home Decisive Direction in the way of God

Broken is fixed Mystery Life Determination that's worth it

Co-operative Happiness Empathetic Serving

Strategy Looking to future Restorative Hopeful

Peaceful Happy Understanding Insightful

Stability, resilient wisdom, attentive

Traditional, rational foundation


Why Vision?

We are reminded of the importance of what the church should be doing by the quotation: "The church should act so that what it does is meaningless if God does not exist". (Stanley Hauerwas)

Ruth Hassall quoted from Exodus 3:1-12 the story of the burning bush to show that God will always be with us and that he gives vision of what we need to do. Vision involves leadership, imagination, decision making, releasing people's gifts, looking to the future and change. Vision has to be renewed to "explore opportunities, clear the path, take action, sustain belief and land the plane".

Listening Exercise Results

A comprehensive document of the results of the listening exercise was presented by Rev Daniel Ramble. Themes covered the main topics of the Visions Days, which were Church Growth, Church Centre, Worship and Liturgy and Church Improvements and Restoration. The church centre is a valuable resource catering for all ages with the need to improve the foyer and storage facilities.

PA upgrade is important to support all people in worship. Worship is helping us to lead a spiritual life. Child friendly and baptism services are welcomed. The views on the preferences for more traditional, modern style and evangelical style of worship are very similarly split indicating there is overlap in preferences. This seems to confirm that offering more than a single style of worship is appropriate.

Views on the church building included better facilities for those with limited mobility, a ground floor kitchen and trying to make the church more visible.

The listening exercise highlighted the importance of welcome, mentoring, prayer and reflection and developing the church.

Church Growth

Gwen Giles, our churchwarden, highlighted that to lead a church into growth, St James needs to be:

· Intentional;

· Include prayer for growth;

· Improve our "Welcome"; and

· Have a focus on all age groups including families and children.

The mission strategy that is developing and needs to be developed further includes the following:

· Mentoring Matters course to help Christians exploring their faith (November 2016- Nov 2017);

· Welcome and Listening Skills course (November 2017);

· Encouraging and supporting future leaders from the congregation Jan 2018 -June 2018);

· Small groups for exploring faith (March 2018-); and

· Alpha course (Sept 2018 - Nov 2018)

Invitational opportunities include: Messy church, Children's gospel choir, Christingle, Pancake party, Mothering Sunday, St James birthday party, summer club, Bright party, Dementia carols, Valentine day meal and Easter egg hunt.

Session 1 Church Growth - discussion

The questions discussed were:

Are there any other ways you might think of in which we could welcome friends, family and neighbours?

How do you think we as a community can support these new learning opportunities in prayer?

Here are the main points discussed in first session.

· Prayer & planning for activities & engaging with people

· Get them young, baptism links

· Think through timings, holiday clubs, Saturday afternoons?

· Opening church through the week

· Church centre more welcoming

· Engaging in a variety of ways

· Baptism follow-up

· Funeral follow up

· Events spread through the year

· Simplify liturgy, accessible for children

· Music concerts

· Activities for all ages, youth club?

· Getting through church doors, make entrance more welcoming

· Finding, belonging - revolving door

· Don't miss any opportunities for conversations & showing you care

· Importance of praying and having faith

· Breaking barrier between churched and unchurched - prayer

· Building on fact that people do come in!

· Show welcoming attitude

· Communication: tell our story, how faith helps us, circulating and developing personal contacts, prayer.

· Fun days for families

To view our Vision Grid & Powerpoint click on the links below

                  http://www.stjameshill.org/Vision Grid 2017.pdf

              http://www.stjameshill.org/Vision day powerpoint.pdf