It was good to join some 270 people on Zoom last Tuesday for the swearing in of the churchwardens from across the Diocese. Alan was there, as he took his oath to serve for another year…which was impressive all the way from Portugal!
One of the upsides of Zoom is that people can join meetings from remote locations.
Dennis has also made his commitment to serve as Churchwarden again for another year, which is a great relief!
There was another zoom meeting this past week, Deanery Synod, which was attended remotely by our reps Alan and Chris and many clergy and laypeople from across the island.
Synod discussed the common themes which had emerged for the Archdeacon’s two questions, which you will remember were posed to congregations earlier in the year.
The Area Dean was struck by some of the innovative ideas which had been put forward – one being to have Holy oils brought to the island from the Cathedral on Maundy Thursday by drones…I think that was one of our people’s suggestions!!
More seriously, the Deanery Council identified three main areas where parishes can start to focus their thinking about the future. These are: Missional growth; increase in income; structural changes.
The themes which emerged from the presentations about these things were, firstly, that everyone has a part to play in living out the reality that the Church of England, through the parish system, is not just there for the faithful who come to church, but for the whole community.
Secondly, we need to collaborate and share resources as we try to re-start and build on what we were doing pre-Covid, and to think of imaginative ways to use our church buildings. As the Area Dean said, “Don’t let your buildings hold you back”!
Thirdly, we were told there will need to be structural change on the island, and various plans are being considered. The Area Dean told us that a template will be produced shortly by the Diocese, as a framework for shaping our churches’ future. Feedback from the template will then go back to the Diocese in the Spring.
I will keep you fully informed, as will our Synod reps, of any developments. We will also ensure that PCCs have the opportunity to discuss the implications the Deanery Plan will have on our life together at All Saints’ and St Alban’s.
With my love and prayers,
The image above is of a window to be found in St Botolph without Aldersgate, London EC1, depicting Christus Rex Creative Commons CC0 License