Church of Dunstable, St Augustine of Canterbury
« Mission Action Plan »
St Augustine’s Church aims to be an inclusive worshipping community that seeks to serve others.
At St Augustine’s we believe that God loves all people and all creation. We believe that Jesus calls us into a way of life centred on loving God with our whole selves and loving our neighbour as ourselves. We believe that the Spirit leads us into new life, truth and freedom and will inspire and empower us to join in with what God is doing.
Therefore, we seek to build a community in which worship of God is central and in which we ask for God’s forgiveness when we don’t live up to our values and claim God’s grace to move forward. With a humble spirit of realism and honesty, acknowledging both our strengths and weaknesses before God and one another, we ‘aim’ and ‘seek’ to be the church God is calling us to be knowing that we will make mistakes but that God’s love is stronger than all our failings. We think it is important to set aside time and energy to develop our faith and fellowship further and as a church we will provide opportunities for study, reflection and prayer.
With a confidence in God’s everlasting and all-encompassing love we seek to build a community that welcomes all people of all ages. We resist discrimination against people on grounds of disability, economic power, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, learning disability, mental health, neurodiversity, or sexuality.
Following in the way of Jesus, we want to reach out to our neighbours both near and far in service and help to transform our local community and world with God’s guidance. Because Jesus came to “bring good news to the poor” we believe we have a special responsibility to reach out to those in our community and our world who are most vulnerable.
We believe that God sent Jesus into the world to bring life in all its fullness and that Jesus sends us to continue God’s mission. Therefore, we will share our faith with others and invite them to join us in worshipping the living God and in following in the way of Jesus. We live out these values in the power of the Spirit with joy and thanksgiving!
To renew and enrich our worship of God for all ages and deepen our faith and discipleship.
A). Vicar to meet up with the Young Disciples (Sunday School) Leaders every 3 months to: review provision
to build on progress
to develop materials and activities further
2019: Introduction of new provision
2020: Develop leaders and material further through training in house with input from diocesan advisors and outside course (as appropriate). In the summer of 2020: involve Young Disciples in programme review and consider suggestions for improvement/development.
2021: Review and develop contribution of Young Disciples in the context of All-Age Worship (4th Sunday Service).
B). 2019: Work with the Dunstable Team to set up a Parish Youth Group. Use diocesan advisors as necessary.
Early 2020: Work with volunteer leaders and helpers (through regular meetings)
Spring 2020: Launch of new group.
Summer 2020/2021: Resource youth group (through bid applications for resources, including training as appropriate) and review the work of the group.
A). To provide opportunities for people to form short-term study groups to develop church member’s faith and deepen their discipleship.
2019: Continue to develop Lent and Advent Lunch Group and the Dunstable Churches Together Lent Course.
2020: Set up short term study group.
B). To provide opportunities for study, reflection and prayer by attending an away day and/or church trip.
August 2020: Greenbelt Festival
May 2020: Pilgrimage to Canterbury
2020: Quiet Day (in house or locally)
Summer 2021: Pilgrimage to Iona (Deanery Group)
To introduce at St Augustine’s:
– a wider variety of music for worship, including modern worship songs/hymns (approx. 2-3 new songs/hymns a month). This is an ongoing task.
Note: New hymnbooks purchased in 2018.
July 2019: New video projector and screen purchased from a grant from the Community Life Fund to enable a wider choice of medium to be used, encourage music and movement to express worship.
– alternative styles of worship at least 4 times a year. For 2020:
Feb: Evening Candlemas Service – Taize
May: Outdoors/Forest church
Aug: Café style
– a sermon series based on the lectionary readings. Our first series will be in January 2020 and will be advertised widely, especially to Christmas visitors (2019).
– 2020: Develop our links with the Foursquare Church further, especially through music-making.
2021: Shared worship with the Foursquare Church on at least one occasion.
2021: Review impact of changes made to enhance worship with the congregation.
Become a more inclusive and welcoming church.
A). 2020: Meet with the Churchwardens and Sidespeople to review our welcome and hospitality at St Augustine’s. Jan 2020: Revisit ‘Welcoming Church’ Pack.
B). 2020: Review our Pray and Play Area for young children and consider development of this resource to become more family friendly. Resources/training from the DCME accessed as needed.
A). Set up a small working group to consider how we can engage with The Inclusive Church Network or other resources that help churches resist discrimination (see values) and create a strong sense of belonging for all in the community. Autumn 2020: use resources to share with church and set up discussion group. 2021: Theme for church awayday. 2021: Write policy and implement.
B). Provide greater opportunities for local children and young people from our local schools and Scouts group to take part in events and worship at St Augustine’s.
2019: Invite local primary and secondary school children to play music during our Christmas Bazaar.
2019: Invite primary school children and local Scouts to take part in our Community Christmas Service on Christmas Eve.
Jan/Feb 2020: Invite local secondary school musicians to take part in the Candlemas Service.
2020: Build on and develop work with Scout group and local schools.
June 2020: Review progress with headteachers and teachers and Scout Leader.
2019-20: Develop use of video projector and screen further, particularly during all-age worship with local school children, staff and parents/carers as well as during Sunday all-age worship.
Use equipment as a resource to introduce new worship experiences.
Use equipment as a creative stimulus in worship (E.g. images, videos, quizzes, new liturgy etc.) and to free congregation from books.
Note: hard or digital copies still needed for members of the community who are visually impaired.
Review in summer 2020 with Headteacher and autumn 2020 with congregation through discussion group and worship group.
To greater understand and reach out in loving service to our local community and our wider world.
A). 2020: Develop further our work with local people in partnership with other local community groups through the Community Coffee Mornings
From Jan 2020: A local councillor will attend a Community Coffee Morning once a month and this will be advertised widely in Nov 2019 and again on social media in Jan 2020.
2019: Working with our local resident association to host and cater for the over 55s Community Christmas Lunch.
2020: Develop links with local groups by encouraging more members of the church to become school governors or volunteers and/or get more involved in local community-building groups.
B). Explore ways of connecting better with the Old Hill side of St Augustine’s district (E.g. through Ardley Hill Academy, The Glider pub etc.)
Autumn 2019: One of our Churchwardens has recently (September 2019) set up ‘Cooking on a Budget’ sessions for our local neighbours – especially for those who use our Foodbank. She received a grant from Skillsmax to enable this important work.
March 2020: Review this provision.
2020-21: Develop further as appropriate.
– Develop work of the Dunstable Team. New Team Rector licensed Oct 31st 2019.
– Develop work of the Dunstable Churches Together. New Co-Ordinator autumn 2019.
– Respond to the needs of local and worldwide community through the Foodbank and charity giving (Christian Aid, Bishop’s Harvest Appeal and Operation Christmas Child).
2020: Develop understanding and commitment to discipleship through study groups, quiet day and pilgrimages (especially Iona in 2021).
B). 2019: Initiate links with Caddington Grove and Ridgeway Lodge Care Homes. Provide regular worship and/or pastoral care.
2020: Enhance experience of those living in care homes through offering special events (E.g. carol singing and afternoon tea).
To grow at St Augustine’s – both spiritually and numerically.
A). To embed a greater sense of vision and mission within our church community by sharing our vision, celebrating our successes and looking to God and one another for help to move forward.
2019: – Our vision statement is shared every week in the notice sheet
– A member of our congregation has produced a beautiful piece of artwork to communicate our vision which is displayed on our website and noticeboard.
– Theme for preaching and study group sessions during the year.
2020: Congregation encouraged to invite neighbours to church events/worship.
B). 2019-20: Work with parish members to redevelop parish website and review all means of communication/media used.
2019: Working group set up.
2020: Review progress and whether communication is effective.
2021: Further development and enhancement of use of media as needed.
C). Feb 2020: Group from St Augustine’s to attend LYCIG.
A). With the help of a grant from the Community Life Fund we have recently (July 2019) purchased a video projector and screen to develop our work with our local church school – St Augustine’s Academy – further.
2019: – Introduce termly creative acts of worship for 2 classes from St Augustine’s Academy.
– Work with school’s Collective Worship Leader to develop worship where children take an active role.
– Invite parents/carers to participate in Collective Worship.
-Provide refreshments and welcome (church members).
2020: To build on 2019 progress to increase participation in worship of the whole school community.
Summer 2020: Review provision with Headteacher and Collective Worship Leader.
B). Continue termly RE Active Sessions at church for pupils in years 2-6 at St Augustine’s Academy.
Summer 2019: Introduce Godly Play sessions for reception and year 1 children once a term. We have set up a small group of leaders to deliver this project.
2020: – Review RE Active materials. Amend as necessary.
– Review year 6 provision and develop as necessary.
– Review through discussion with leaders and pupils.
– Spring 2020: Research courses that meet the gifts and needs of those seeking faith, new Christians and those who want to refresh their understanding of Christian faith.
– Summer 2020: Set up a short course to explore the basics of the Christian faith.
– Advertise course widely, including to St Augustine’s Academy, local community and new members of the church.