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

Hitchin, St Mary version: 3

Our Details

Website

http://www.stmaryshitchin.co.uk

Parish

Hitchin

Benefice

Hitchin & St Paul's Walden (Team Ministry)

Deanery

Hitchin

Archdeaconry

St Albans

Dates

  • This MAP was adopted by PCC
    05/03/2019
  • This MAP was uploaded to the website on
    20/03/2019
  • Our MAP will be reviewed next
    29/04/2020

Our Looking

What progress have you made with the Goals from your previous MAP, and what do you want to celebrate?

  • Our monthly 'Third Sunday' services are thriving, attracting a new congregation of some five dozen young children and their parents; and this is on top of two dozen who attend our other monthly Storyteller service for very young ones
  • The church is now open 6 days a week, attracting some hundreds of appreciative visitors every week
  • Our fundraising events and activities are growing and usefully supplementing regular congregational income

What Goals did you set where you saw less progress than you would have liked?

  • We'd like to have more Weekday Welcomers, but there are some limits to the available numbers of active volunteers for this enjoyable work. Newcomer welcoming and integration: we hope to help newcomers feel more integrated, and to encourage their commitment to more regular giving
  • Our attractive website and facebook accounts are up and running, though future management and updating arrangements may need attention

Things seen about our local community

  • We continue to build on the opportunities of our town-centre position, furthering God's Kingdom by reconciling differences and deepening communal life
  • We are viewed as a profound part of the identity of the town and a focus for the prayers of the faithful and occasional pilgrim
  • By responding to the changing elements of society, we are transforming communities

How have you begun to engage with these concerns / needs / issues?

  • We want to see local divisions healed, and we are actively supporting Churches Together in Hitchin and the North Herts Faith Forum

Our Discerning

Vision (for five years' time)

As an inclusive and welcoming place, and a thriving church reaching out into our community to deepen faith and grow new disciples

Current Situation

From our Parish Statistics for Mission, we see that we are / have...

Christmas and Easter attendances have been buoyant but in 2018 were 32% below the peak year 2017. More significantly, numbers at our main Sunday service are in long term decline (in 2018 they were 16% below 2017, 25% below 2010 and 36% below 2000). Our worshipping community includes 44% over 70 (though this is coming down), and only 15% under 18, with very few teenagers

Priorities (for the next five years)

  • To build up our congregation by attracting and retaining more young people and their families whilst maintaining the pastoral care of those in need
  • To deepen the church’s mission and outreach – locally and globally – with active invitation into church life
  • To strengthen cash flow with transition from occasional fundraising to planned growth in trading activity so as to fund our cultural and community goals and support imaginative ways of nurturing faith and reconciling love

Goals (for the next year)

  • To build up our activities for young people and their parents, and to continue developing informal services as Fresh Expressions for the young, whilst maintaining traditional forms of worship as one church
  • To increase awareness and prayer for the wider world in general, and specifically to continue long term support for our orphanage in Malawi
  • As members of Inclusive Church, to develop our inclusion resource bank and to share our experiences with other Hitchin Team churches
  • As members of the HeartEdge Network, sharing best practice with like-minded churches, to take advice on the development and use of our property assets, and to be part of the community's cultural, charitable and commercial life
  • To be proactive in engagement and cooperation with the Hub Church
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  • Going Deeper into God
  • Making New Disciples
  • Transforming Communities