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Mission Action Planning – Where are we going?Jeremy Fletcher
A bishop on a train was asked to show his ticket and couldn’t find it. The unusually trusting guard, seeing the purple shirt, said he was sure it would be all right. “No’” said the bishop. “I need the ticket to know where I’m going”.
As Christians we are called to some things which are unchanging: to worship, to serve, to grow in and to share our faith. We don’t need to reinvent our reason to be the church. We do need to examine how we go about all this, and to reflect on how we express our calling in a changing world.
Every five years Hampstead Parish Church reviews its Mission Action Plan. Many of you completed a Parish Survey last November to help this process. The PCC spent a day in January looking at the results, and thinking carefully about where God has guided us and where we may be led next.
Now it’s time to consult as many people as possible connected with our church life in order to set priorities and to apply the right resources in the right areas. Our aim is to have a working vision and strategy document in May. I’m keen that this will include a statement of our Purpose and Mission, and the shape of a strategy for the next year, three and five years.
• We have a wide range of households and a very wide range of incomes. A number of households are at less than the London Living Wage level. The proportion of retired people has increased, and numbers of children have halved since a peak in 2012. The number of people living with long term illness or who have a need for care has increased since the last survey.
• The majority of people who responded are happy with the pattern and style of worship, but the majority do not feel they are growing in faith. HPC is regarded as welcoming and as a caring community, but people do not find many opportunities to explore belief in more depth. There is significant support for activities with children and families, and a strong desire to employ a worker in this area.
• There is very strong support for engaging with social justice issues. Newer members favour projects that involve the church in practical action. Longer-standing members favour charitable giving. There is strong support for maintaining or improving activities with the church school, our children and youth work, our involvement in the Arts, in keeping the church open, and improving the welcome offered.
• There is openness to development work on the church building, especially where better facilities will aid our welcome. Financial giving is still significant but on a slow decline. 60% of regular givers contribute 2% or less of their net income.
I’m keen to know what God has called to particularly here. When we can own that we will be able to see what we are called to next. I have six questions which I would like people to think about. You can email me answers, or write them down. I’ll be calling together some groups particularly to talk about them too.
• What drew you to HPC?
• What keeps you at HPC?
• What do you need from HPC?
• What can you offer to HPC?
• Describe HPC to someone new
• One change you would make
Let me know!