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

Parish of Felmersham
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Details

Parish
Felmersham

Benefice
Sharnbrook, Felmersham and Knotting with Souldrop

Deanery
Sharnbrook

Archdeaconry
Bedford

MAP Dates

This MAP was uploaded to the website on
21st March 2021

Our MAP will be reviewed next
21st March 2022

Progress

What progress are you celebrating since your previous MAP?

Since the last posting, we have been through an Interregnum, during which we managed to maintain services, either clergy or lay led, every week. Since the arrival of our new Rector we have been adapting to the restrictions of Covid as a Benefice, and thanks to Revd. Paolo’s experience of IT and positive leadership, we have gained much from online services. Zoom services have proven very popular, especially during the winter, enabling families to join in from other parts of the UK or abroad.

The sense of community is noticeably stronger in the villages as a result of people making pastoral connections with isolating neighbours, getting to know others in the Benefice via Zoom, or offering practical help and raising funds for those in need.

Messy Church has had to take a back seat temporarily, but we continue to maintain contact with the children and hope to do a few online sessions before we can return to normal meetings.
Our Christian hosts at the village pub have expressed interest in holding pub services and this thread will be taken up and developed. (See Priorities)

Various efforts to raise the profile of the Church as a relevant body in the community are beginning to pay off in small ways but much more needs to be done.

How far did you meet your previous priorities?
(1 star = Not at all → 10 stars = Done)

4 stars

Where has there been less progress than hoped for?

Great plans had been laid to celebrate the 800th anniversary of St. Mary’s by involving the whole community over a year of activities, but the pandemic put paid to that. However, new opportunities have developed to make contact with our wider community, and we look forward to seeing those bring forth some new connections

Vision

What is the vision for your Church, Parish, Team Ministry or Benefice?

Paths to Peace- The Pastoral Vision

To be a loving Christian Community that seeks to enable the love and Peace of God in everyone.

Paths to Peace is a new programme of pastoral care and outreach initiatives, stemming in part from the need to help the vulnerable in the villages during the Covid pandemic. We aim to offer practical support and friendship as well as spiritual help, building on and expanding existing community frameworks with the intention that this should continue to be part of our parish life under the Benefice umbrella.

We have introduced Broadband into the church to increase the possibilities for new forms of teaching, worship and prayer as detailed in Priorities

We aim to raise the profile of the church in our villages of Felmersham and Radwell, to increase a sense of the relevance of the Church to all and to demonstrate practical care and the love of God to all people regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

Our ultimate aim is to bring new followers to Christ and transform the spiritual life of the parish.

Values

What are the core values for your Church, Parish, Team Ministry or Benefice?

OUR FAITH
Placing God at the centre of every ambition, mission, project, task, conversation, and contact.

OUR HOPE
Working for peace, speaking out against injustice, being prepared to challenge the status quo, evaluating new opportunities, and courageously embracing change.

OUR LOVE / CHARITY
Excluding no-one, inviting and welcoming all, defending and supporting the vulnerable, showing that we care, by our thoughts, and words, as well as our deeds, sharing the gospel, and demonstrating what it means to follow Christ.

1st Priority

What is your 1st Priority to make your vision a reality?

As part of the Paths to Peace initiative we will further develop our pastoral care and support of the sick, bereaved and all who find themselves in difficulties. This will expand on a long established network of community care volunteers in the villages, caring for those in Felmersham and Radwell.

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 1st Priority most focus on?
Transforming Communities

SMART Goal to achieve your 1st Priority

Continue to develop and grow our pastoral care team

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 1st Priority

Continue to support and develop the The Benefice initiative to create a Covid fund for those in all our parishes who find themselves in financial troubles as a result of Covid restrictions or other cause, This will form part of ongoing practical care and outreach to new people.

2nd Priority

What 2nd Priority are you working on to make your vision a reality?

To re -establish and grow our successful Messy Church format as soon as we are able in co-operation with the with the primary school where we hold our sessions and to continue to work with the school, facilitating their activities in the church and involving church volunteers in school community projects.

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 2nd Priority most focus on?
Making New Disciples

SMART Goal to achieve your 2nd Priority

Continue to support and participate in the Benefice initiative to develop online sessions for as long as they are needed.

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 2nd Priority

To be open to new formats and ideas and encourage participation of younger parents/ volunteers for future leadership.
Explore the introduction of occasional sessions at the allotment pavilion in the summer.

SMART Goal 3 to achieve your 2nd Priority

To explore the introduction of occasional sessions at the allotment pavilion in the summer,

3rd Priority

What 3rd Priority are you working on to make your vision a reality?

To enable wider use of the church building as a facility for local people

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 3rd Priority most focus on?
Transforming Communities

SMART Goal to achieve your 3rd Priority

To establish a digital capability in St. Mary’s.

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 3rd Priority

Deliver Zoomed and Streamed live church services
Offer Zoom and streaming capability for all events marriages, baptisms funerals concerts et al.

SMART Goal 3 to achieve your 3rd Priority

Re-establish Our ‘tea and cake in the church’ days during the summer focusing on welcome and mission rather than fund raising. They are popular with church goers and non church goers alike and will be reinstated as soon as Covid restrictions permit.
Other possible uses may include:
Concerts and Plays
Study groups (both sacred and secular),
Development of a kind of Internet Café’ for home workers wishing a different work environment.

4th Priority

What 4th Priority are you working on to make your vision a reality?

Plan alternative and imaginative themed activities and services at key times in the year.

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 4th Priority most focus on?
Making New Disciples

SMART Goal to achieve your 4th Priority

Conduct outside Harvest or Animal or Musical services in the Summer months.

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 4th Priority

Work with our local (Christian) pub owners to arrange occasional services in the pub and explore other possibilities for reaching some of the wider community in an environment they find non-threatening.

SMART Goal 3 to achieve your 4th Priority

Ensure church involvement at major village festivals in co-operation with village families and their friends to support their fundraising for worthwhile events and explore if a themed service or blessing may be incorporated.

5th Priority

What 5th Priority are you working on to make your vision a reality?

Find ways to increase our income from regular personal giving and to re-instate our regular fund-raising activities as soon as Covid restrictions permit, with a view to maintaining the church building as a viable presence in the community.

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 5th Priority most focus on?
Transforming Communities

SMART Goal to achieve your 5th Priority

We will encourage gifts, donations and access grants for projects where possible.

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 5th Priority

Develop an ongoing stewardship program

MAP published at www.stalbans.anglican.org/maps/?id=21867
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  • Going Deeper into God
  • Making New Disciples
  • Transforming Communities