Us vicars have all been given a book called “How Village Churches Thrive” here are the key points. What do you think, does it hit the mark for you?
1. WARM WELCOME: Making your church as welcoming as your home, structuring your welcome around strangers is key and these changes enable growth.
2. LIFE EVENTS (Baptism, Wedding, Funeral): There is a link between life events and faith journeys. It’s good to find ways to involve more people from local church community and keeping in touch with new contacts.
3. CREATIVE USE OF BUILDINGS: Ancient church buildings are a huge asset, and they provide limitless creative opportunities for communities, welcome and wonder. There are ways to share responsibility across the wider community.
4. CARE OF CREATION: Churchyards draw people, and we can build on this interest to engage a whole community to love and care for the churchyard. It is a visible expression of 5th mark of mission ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’.
5. AT THE HEART OF COMMUNITY: The church can affect positive change in village life and for community engagement ‘I am because we are’. We can utilise community audits to help collaborative leadership.
6. CELEBRATING HERITAGE: Heritage presents great opportunities to build relationships with new people. It’s locally embedded and very broad, something for everyone and new technology provides new ways to present churches to people who visit and those further afield.
7. FRUITFUL FESTIVALS: Unique contribution to rural festivals and genuine spiritual encounters with ideal opportunities for celebration, innovation and welcome.
8. YOUNG PEOPLE FOCUSED: Engaging young people, as a priority as villages are great settings for creative work collaborating with others and boosts funding opportunities.
9. CARE FOR THOSE WHO ARE ISOLATED AND LONELY: Understanding isolation more and give opportunities for rural churches to be part of the solution so we have ways to initiate care to those most in need.
10. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS: Communication with a wider audience with three key questions: what’s your message, who you are trying to reach, what’s the best way and then setting up and managing commonly used communications channels.
Please do let us know if you have any questions or queries about your village church and how best we can work collaboratively with you.
CONFIRMATION COURSE for adults looking over your faith again if you’ve been confirmed for a long time to refresh you or if you’d love to be confirmed into the Christian Faith as a member of the Anglican CofE church or what to find out more about faith. Wednesdays from the 14 th September led by the Ministry Team from 7:30pm at St Michaels, Reepham.
Confirmation Service is at Swannington on 27th November Advent Sunday 10:30am led by + Graham, Diocesan Bishop of Norwich and Waveney. Please phone 01603-875275 to book a place and ask any questions.
Watch this space for Youth Confirmation Course (10+) to be confirmed.