Mission Action Plan

2017-22


 

FORWARD BY THE ASSOCIATE RECTOR

 

I am very pleased to introduce this new Mission Action Plan for St Peter’s, Westhampnett.

St Peter’s is part of the United Benefice of St Paul’s, Chichester with St Peter’s Westhampnett and my appointment as Associate Rector of the Benefice, with particular responsibility for St Peter’s, marks, I hope, a period of continuity for St Peter’s and the ideal opportunity to review the church’s mission in Westhampnett and beyond. This community has changed dramatically in the past 20 years: from a small hamlet on the outskirts of Chichester to a rapidly expanding and developing community, in which St Peter’s seeks to play a central role.

 

This Mission Action Plan has been produced by the PCC and in consultation with the St Peter’s congregation and seeks to express our vision for the future as a growing church, both in 2017-18 and beyond. We hope it is both visionary and realistic in equal measure and we pray for God’s blessing on our work together.

 

God of our pilgrimage, you have willed that the gate of mercy should stand open for those who trust in you: look upon us with your favour that we who follow the path of your will may never wander from the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  

 

 

The Revd Rachel Hawes

12 November 2017

Introduction: God’s Pilgrim People

 

This new Mission Action Plan draws upon biblical and early church material, as well as on existing St Peter’s statements and documents and is inspired by the siting of our church on Stane Street – the ancient Roman road from Chichester to London.

 

We wish to identify ourselves as being on a journey and part of God’s pilgrim people.  Specifically, we identify pilgrimage with three elements:

·       Companionship with God

·       Companionship with each other

·       Companionship with those we meet along the way

The imagery of journeying, seeking and changing is important to us, both personally as God’s people and in relation to the church building itself. Nothing in the life of faith is static and we are also mindful of the Mission Statement for the Diocese of Chichester: “To know, love, follow Jesus”, which reflects the same sense of journeying and seeking.

 

We wish to communicate our belief that the Christian journey is not one that is made alone – we make it, accompanied by God and in fellowship with one another. ‘Companionship’ is part of the pilgrim experience – we believe it is the essence of it. We seek to support one another and to reach out in love and care to all those whom we encounter, both within the Parish we serve and beyond it. We seek to encourage others to join us on this journey and with us to experience the joy of being God’s pilgrim people.

Within the three-part framework on the theme of Companionship above, we have identified areas of our work and mission which inform the detailed structure of this Plan. These are set out below:

 

PART A: Companionship with God

·       Worship and Prayer

·       Teaching, Learning and Training

 

PART B: Companionship with each another

·       Pastoral care

·       Children’s work

·       Fabric and grounds

·       Events planning

·       The United Benefice – our place within it

 

PART C: Companionship with those we meet along the way

·       Engaging with and serving the local community

·       Mission and outreach

 


 

PART A

 

Companionship with God

 

Worship and Prayer

 

We value:

 

·        the Anglican balance of Scripture, Tradition and Reason;

·        worship that is structured, inclusive and well-prepared, with a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, using all the resources in the Christian tradition and with a strong focus on the Eucharist;

 

·        a church which is welcoming in the pastoral offices (baptisms, weddings and funerals);

 

·        the full inclusion of children in the Parish Eucharist with a Family Service on the first Sunday of every month and, following appropriate preparation, admission of children to Communion before Confirmation;

 

·        as part of a United Benefice, joint services with our sister church, St Paul’s, Chichester;

 

·        the fresh perspectives gained as a result of the diversity in clergy who have served us, while welcoming the opportunity for continuity offered, as a result of the appointment of our new priest to a more permanent role;

 

·        space for the exploration of our faith through retreats, contemplation and teaching;

 

·        music that enhances worship by being carefully and imaginatively chosen and delivered.

 

We wish to develop:

 

·        our Children’s Church through increased involvement of children in the Family Service with a particular focus on their being ‘at the front’ through direct participation in reading, prayers, music and dramatised bible stories – in particular we would like to bring the ‘Open the Book’ project into church;

·        a Children’s Working Group to plan, support and deliver faith education to children through Children’s Church, First Communion training and Confirmation; and to develop new ways of including children, their parents and guardians in all aspects of church life;

 

·        a children’s serving team;

·        the opportunity for occasional and innovative approaches to worship through the use of our church land as both venue and inspiration; in particular we would like create a ‘Garden Church’ using our land to the north, beyond the graveyard wall;

·        our intercessions team by increasing the numbers of those involved and offering training;

·        our music, with a particular focus on new children’s music for the Family Service, creating a Children’s Choir, adding new hymns to our repertoire and learning a sung mass setting for the Parish Eucharist.

 

 

Teaching, Learning and Training

 

We value:

·        a well-equipped and trained people of God that regards training study and development as the norm;

 

·        the teaching of the Christian faith to all ages, education in its basic principles and expansion of knowledge and understanding through sermons, courses, house groups, away days and private reading;

 

·        the fostering and encouragement of vocations (whether to ordained ministry or lay roles) within our church community.

 

We wish to develop:

 

·        a greater understanding of the Christian faith for all, through additional courses (beyond those in Advent and Lent);

·        an increase in the number of house groups;

·        our understanding and familiarity with the Common Worship liturgy through teaching in sermon series or courses;

·        training in all aspects of our liturgical life, including setting up for services, serving and intercessions;

·        experience sharing and refresher training, in church, for our existing Lay Ministers of Holy Communion;

·        our spiritual development and learning through more retreats and away days;

·        a greater sharing of teaching and learning with our sister church, St Paul’s though joint courses and events.

 

 


 

PART B

Companionship with each other

 

Pastoral Care

 

We value:

 

·        a fellowship with one another which is compassionate and sensitive to need, inspired by the spirit of the Gospel and which reaches out to welcome newcomers to the church;

·        the caring work undertaken by the following teams or individuals, including:

o   ‘meet and greet’;

o   anniversary cards for baptism and marriage;

o   ‘Marriage Week;

o   knitting for the Children’s Church activity bags;

o   ‘transport to church’;

o   after-church coffee;

·        the work of our Lay Ministers of Holy Communion;

 

·        keeping in touch with each other through:

o   church notices;

o   the weekly Pewsheet;

o   the monthly Newsletter;

o   the church website,

o   the church Facebook page and WhatsApp;

o   clear and informative PCC Minutes

We wish to develop:

 

·        a fully trained and commissioned lay Pastoral Care team to further our pastoral work;

·        the ability for clergy and Lay Ministers to take Home Communion to those who need it by seeking the Bishop of Chichester’s permission to reserve the sacrament at St Peter’s;

 

·        expanded numbers of volunteer helpers in all our various caring teams and in particular in the ‘transport to church’ team;

·        a better ordered communication strategy through:

o   improvement of signage;

o   a new notice board;

o   a church ‘Who’s Who?’ handbook identifying areas of responsibility for communications and all aspects of church life;

o   regular feedback of information on the progress our Mission Action Plan to the congregation;

o   clear lines of communication with outside bodies eg The March Church of England School.

 

Children’s Work

 

We value:

·        our children as baptised full members of the church community and wish to support and develop them in their faith;

·        our existing children’s work and worship, including:

o   Children’s Church (Sunday school);

o   the Family Service and Crib Service;

o   the exploration of scripture through the ‘Open the Book’ project;

o   the Messy Worship project;

o   Morning Worship and Leavers’ Services at the March Church of England School and in church;

o   the Musical Instruments project;

o   Children’s Church activity bags and puppets;

o   Children’s books and Bibles.

We wish to develop:

 

·        a sound-proof meeting space in church for Children’s Church as part of our church re-ordering scheme;

·        better inclusion of our Children’s Church in worship and music through increased involvement of children in the Family Service (see Part A);

·        an occasional additional Family Service at a different time on Sunday, eg late afternoon;

·        an increase in the services offered in church for the March Church of England School, for example at the key festivals of Christmas and Easter.

 

Fabric and Grounds

 

We value:

 

·        a welcoming and well-maintained church building and grounds;

 

·        the contribution to the care of the church and grounds made by the following teams and individuals:

o   our Churchwarden in dealing with one-off maintenance jobs;

o   the Flower Arranging Team;

o   the Cleaning Team;

o   our Community Payback Team;

 

·        the provision of a complete plan of the graveyard;

 

·        the additional land to the north of the church;

 

·        the provision of the Portaloo!

We wish to develop:

 

·        our church building in a way which facilitates its use for both worship and social events through a Re-ordering Project which provides for:

o   a meeting room;

o   disabled toilet;

o   kitchen;

o   flexible seating - through the removal of all fixed pews and replacement with a mixture of moveable pews and chairs;

o   re-location of the font to the west end;

o   new flooring (where required) and the levelling of uneven floor surfaces;

o   an aumbry or hanging pyx for the reservation of the sacrament;

o   a secure wall safe (let into the wall) for donations etc;

o   repair of the holy water stoup in the porch;

o   appropriate painting in off-white or similar suitable shade of the internal rendered walls;

o   improved lighting and energy efficient underfloor heating.

·        a Working Party to steer the Re-ordering Project and to research and obtain appropriate grant funding;

 

·        the professional landscaping of the land to the north of the church to enable part of it to be used for events and a section for additional burial plots;

·        the creation of a garden of remembrance for the interment of ashes and the possibility of an external War Memorial;

·        the hard-surfacing of the approach area to the church and the provision of additional car-parking space;

 

·        additional permanent maintenance support via a skilled volunteer;

·        additional high-level cleaning of the church;  

 

·        an appropriate security protocol for those working alone in the church.

 

Events Planning

 

We value:

 

·        the work of the Events Group in building up our sense of community and in particular:

o   the ‘Mothers and Others’ group;

o   fundraising and community events such as the Christmas Market, the Jumble Sale, the Flower Festival, the History Weekend, the Bonfire & Barbeque, Harvest Supper, ‘Reverse Advent’ and the Quiz Night;

o   concerts;

o   social events on festival days after special services

 

We wish to develop:

 

·        more events of a similar nature including those which reach out to and connect with the neighbouring communities.

 

The United Benefice – Our Place Within It

 

We value:

 

·        our place as part of a United Benefice with our sister church of St Paul’s, Chichester;

·        shared services with St Pauls at times such as the Patronal Festival and Ascension Day;

·        learning and developing our faith together through joint courses in Advent and Lent, through shared pilgrimage and retreats and shared Confirmation classes;

·        the sharing of information through the weekly Pewsheet monthly Newletter;

·        The provision of administrative support via St Paul’s Parish Office.

We wish to develop:

 

·        our fellowship with St Paul’s through more shared services and in particular through occasional shared Family Services;

·        better knowledge of each other through more shared social events, courses, retreats and pilgrimages and other learning opportunities;

·        a centralised electronic record relating to St Peter’s in the St Paul’s Parish Office to enable proper succession planning.


 

PART C

 

Companionship with those we meet along the way

 

Engaging with and Serving the Local Community

 

We value:

 

·        St Peter’s role as the Parish Church in the centre of a rapidly expanding and developing community at Westhampnett;

·        a church which is open daily for visitors of all faiths and none;

·        our Safeguarding policy and the work of our Safeguarding Officer;

·        our links with the March Church of England School;

·        our links with the Westhampnett Nursing Home and Dovecote Residential Home;

 

·        our links with the Parish Council;

 

·        our work with the Food Bank.

 

 

We wish to develop:

 

·        the appointment of a Stewardship Officer;

 

·        an annual, realistic and challenging stewardship campaign with a target of a 3% annual increase in giving for 2018, enabling us to build up cash reserves to fund our Mission Giving and to match fund grant applications for our church Re-ordering project;

·        a more proactive welcome to newcomers through events designed to include them and introduce them to existing congregation member, eg newcomers’ drinks parties;

·        increased pastoral contact with the March Church of England School through regular clergy visits and assistance with school assembly, attendance at Governors’ Meetings, the ‘Open the Book’ project and ‘Messy Worship’ project;

·        better and regular pastoral care links with the Westhampnett Nursing Home and Dovecote Residential Home through clergy visits, Home Communion and organised events with an aspiration to include children in such events;

·        better communication with the local community through development of our website, use of social media, leafleting, Christmas cards and improved signage;

·        the church as a focus of the Westhampnett community through well-advertised services both on-site and off-site at key festivals, and social events.

 

Outreach and Mission

 

We value:

 

·        our giving to named projects outside the Benefice and our support for the Diocese mission strategy.

We wish to develop:

 

·        even more outward focus to our church life;

·        the formation of a Mission Giving Committee to oversee an increase in our Mission Giving and the establishment of an overseas mission link.