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

Sandridge, St Leonard version: 6

Our Details









St Albans


  • This MAP was adopted by PCC
  • This MAP was uploaded to the website on
  • Our MAP will be reviewed next

Our Looking

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

  • Welcome - A regular ‘name label Sunday’ has been established, and the way that visitors to our major services (eg Carols by Candlelight, and Crib Services) has been reviewed. Noticeboards have been revised to be more attractive, publicity for special events increased. This is recognised as a key area for further development. A number of people attend church having been involved with an occasional service (Wedding, baptism and funeral) so the welcome they receive at a Sunday service is crucial as it is a key factor in determining whether they keep attending. We are to maintain this Goal for a further year.
  • Extending community links - This year, leaflets advertising the range of activities and special services at St Leonard’s were given to visitors to the Flower Festival, when many hundreds of people come to St Leonard’s. A range of special services was organised for Sandridge School pupils (as well as visits made to the school) and good relations developed with the new Head. Sandringham School held its carol service at the church for the second year running, and we are exploring other links with them. Concerts also attract visitors to the church. The PCC noted that, through individuals who are involved, the church has links with the local WI and Silver Threads groups. We are to maintain this Goal for a further year.
  • Communications - The parish magazine was relaunched with the April 2017 edition, featuring a colour photograph front page. This design will continue to evolve over time. Meanwhile, social media has increasingly become a way that people engage with St Leonard’s. Posts on our Facebook page are reaching up to 1,900 people. Twitter posts regularly reach more than 800 users. People are using the website as a ‘first point of contact’ with the church. We are to maintain this Goal for a further year.

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

  • Pastoral team - Currently a small group of people are involved in taking services at Lyndon and Tara’s Retreat residential homes, and in visiting the housebound with Home Communion. As the PCC discussed, we need more people to ‘just pop in to see’. We are considering pastoral teams (which would involve training) . They would provide support to people in trouble. We are to maintain this Goal for a further year.
  • Friends group - This is now fully launched and doing well. We will continue to give the Friends every support, but this is no longer a MAP objective.

Things seen about our local community

  • St Leonard's is a village landmark with a history of worship that continues today. The church is valued by many people who do not regularly worship at the church and there is an increasing sense of ownership by the local community. The local Neighbourhood Plan has recognised the village area needing to be protected.
  • St Leonard's has good local connections, especially to the primary school and elderly people's homes, with church members involved in and supporting many local organisations.
  • The parish is changing with Heartwood Forest now expecting to attract 185,000 visitors each year, tearooms now open in the centre of the village, and Carpenters Nursery also now operating a popular cafe/restaurant. Housing in Sandridge parish continues to grow,with new developments being built and planned.

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

  • Developing our local links through the church calendar, occasional offices, open church, improved communications and the newly-formed Friends of St Leonard's.
  • Developing our links with the local schools and elderly people's homes, including our monthly Craft Church, special school events (eg Experience Pentecost) and a new Hymn Singalong service at one of the local care homes.
  • Looking to ensure that St Leonard's is a welcoming place, both during services and during the week when visitors to Heartwood and the local countryside often drop into the church. As the church is not staffed during the week, the welcome has to be in the building and its appearance.

Our Discerning

Vision (for five years' time)

St Leonard's is a church integrated into its local community. It is an outward-looking, growing and prayerful Christian community that welcomes and adapts to all ages.

Current Situation

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

That our services at Christmas, Easter, Harvest and Remembrance are growing as community-focused events, and we would wish to develop this.

Priorities (for the next five years)

  • Making the church (services, activities and building) more accessible to all.
  • Prioritising activities that build our connections with the local community.
  • Stewarding our resources (time, energy, money, abilities) for maximum effectiveness, so as to grow a vibrant church for all.

Goals (for the next year)

  • Review the welcome given by the church at services and events and also when open during the week. Identify and implement ways that this could be improved including exploring the setting up of a welcome team, and undertaking training in providing a welcome to all.
  • Further develop the church's contact with all ages, including pre-school children and the local school.
  • Sensitively support and encourage people along their pilgrimage of faith, accepting that people are at different stages of their journey.
  • Explore the possibility of creating pastoral teams to serve people in the church and the parish.
  • Seek ways of developing links between the various church 'congregations', including Sunday and midweek, Craft Church, Tara's Retreat and Lyndon
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