Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

Clothall, St Mary the Virgin version: 1

Our Details

Parish

Clothall

Benefice

Clothall, Rushden, Sandon, Wallington and Weston

Deanery

Buntingford

Archdeaconry

Hertford

Dates

  • This MAP was adopted by PCC
    28/02/2016
  • This MAP was uploaded to the website on
    17/05/2016
  • Our MAP will be reviewed next
    28/02/2017

Our Looking

Things seen about our local community

  • Clothall is a large parish in acre-age, but small in number of dwellings. Apart from the main village (25 houses) it contains a number of outlying hamlets and farms.
  • We are part of the newly formed Benefice of Clothall, Rushden, Sandon, Wallington and Weston. The benefice covers a wide area of rural North Herts and Clothall is located near to the market town of Baldock.
  • The village does not have a green or other suitable gathering space and due to difficulties with the village hall the church is the only available meeting place and point of focus in this very small village. However, it is tucked away up a narrow lane with almost no parking places and the church only has electricity.

Three things we have seen about our church

  • Clothall has a small but very steady and faithful congregation who are very welcoming and committed to keeping the Good News of the Gospel alive in the village and the parish and is also committed to being an active partner in the work of the new benefice.
  • Due to recent movement in the housing market and some natural growth a number of families with young children now live in the village and have shown some interest in the church with regard to occasional offices and attending services on some occasions.
  • Lack of modern facilities (only electricity is connected) and storage space plus parking and access difficulties currently put constraints on how the building can be used for activities other than the weekly services and occasional offices.

Our Discerning

Vision (for five years' time)

As a growing church which meets the needs of both the local worshipping community and visitors who pass through on walks and visits. Flexible and strong in worship with an ethos that is firmly based in both the Book of Common Prayer and Common Worship both of which will be in formats accessible to families and welcoming to new comers. Whilst retaining the unique peaceful ambiance of the church when people need to find a place of peace and rest we would also like to have regular activities that are welcoming to both the church goers and the local community and which reflect the aspirations and needs of both. As part of the new Benefice of Clothall, Rushden, Sandon, Wallington and Weston we would like to work alongside the other churches to create a vibrant benefice that celebrates our common rural situations, works together to offer a wide range of worship possibilities, creates opportunities for cross parish events whilst celebrating our own individual uniqueness.

Priorities (for the next five years)

  • Grow the church by making and sustaining contact with both the new families and those visitors who come to find peace and a place to worship.
  • To become more of a focus for village events and to work with other interested parties to solve the difficulties surrounding the use of the village hall so that joint church/village activities can be undertaken in order that the community life of the village can be enhanced.
  • To maintain the structure of the church and create opportunities to develop the interior of the church to make it more user friendly and to upgrade the historical information available for both the congregation, parish and visitors.

Goals (for the next year)

  • To create an area of the church that is welcoming, comfortable and flexible for both families and small group worship and which encourages people to stay and talk. (Going Deeper into God, Making New Disciples)
  • To create service booklets that are easily understandable and accessible to visitors and that reflect and inform on the seasonal cycle of the church and lead to a deeper understanding and engagement with the liturgy. (Going Deeper into God)
  • To re-establish a midweek morning service so that the church is used every week and for villagers to know that the clergy/laity are available and that prayer is a core activity of the church. (going deeper into God/Making New Disciples)
  • To develop ‘Church Mice’. A Christian focused toddler/young children’s group to be run in the area created by goal 1 and to enable the parents in the village with small children to have a place to meet and share. (Transforming Communities)
  • To undertake more open days so that both the church profile and location are enhanced hopefully leading to more people finding their way to this ‘hidden’ but beautiful church.
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  • Going Deeper into God
  • Making New Disciples
  • Transforming Communities