Parish of Broxbourne with Wormley
« Mission Action Plan »
During the lifetime of our previous MAP, which spanned 2017 to 2019, we particularly saw progress in the areas of ‘Growing deeper into God’ and ‘Transforming community’:
• An increase in prayer in the life of our parish, and in our own lives as individuals, most notably through weekly prayer meetings and online prayer groups;
• An increase in the number of mid-week groups meeting for fellowship and teaching from 4 to 8, with the leaders of those groups reporting good attendance and spiritual growth;
• Our first two organized groups attending the Spring Harvest festival, with 70 people signing up for the second one;
• The launch of Tuesday @ 2, a ministry combatting loneliness and social isolation, which attracts 60 to 70 people fortnightly and which has the potential to develop in the direction of a new worshipping community;
• A new partnership with a social work organization based in Wormley connecting our congregations and parochial charities with those living in poverty in our local community.
In addition, despite not being part of our previous MAP, we also became one of the host churches for the Broxbourne Winter Night Shelter in 2019 and 2020.
The area where we have struggled more in relation to our previous MAP is ‘Making new disciples’, which had been an area of great progress in the period immediately preceding it, when we saw our USA grow from 158 in 2011 to 281 in 2017 and our child USA grow from 24 in 2011 to 60 in 2017. Despite intensive focus and investment during the lifetime of the previous MAP, we saw those measures decline to 246 and 47 respectively in 2019, although the decline is significantly offset by the launch of our monthly Messy Church at Wormley Primary in 2017, which continues to attract 80-100 people, including 50-60 children, with a number of associated discipleship activities (Messy Breakfast, Messy Alpha, Messy Discipleship).
The launch of the Big Conversation is timely for us, in helping us to think through how we respond to demographic changes in Church of England affiliation (75+ 33%, 65-74 24%, 55-64 20%, 45-54 10%, 35-44 4%, 25-34 3%, 18-24 1% – British Social Attitudes 2019), and the impact these have on the availability and potency of traditional routes into church. In particular, we have carried out a piece of research which suggests that a number of these, including infant baptism, school-related Sunday attendance and Alpha course attendance have become less effective routes into church, at least as we have approached them, relative to the period during which we experienced rapid growth in the parish.
‘Growing a worshipping community reaching out with Jesus’ love’:
‘Growing’ – We aspire to draw new people into a living relationship with Jesus Christ
‘Worshipping’ – The heart of our activity is to worship God in our gatherings and in our lives
‘Community’ – We want to be a place where people can build deep Christian fellowship
‘Reaching out’ – We want to have an impact on the needs of our local community
‘Jesus’ love’ – We want to be known for our welcome, compassion and service
We want to draw new families, children and young people into our worshipping communities
1. Carry out a review of our Sunday activities aimed at families, children and young people, in particular:
-To recast the sermon slot in our 9.30A service to make it more accessible to those attending;
-To look at the shape of and balance between our provision for children at 9.30A and 11.00;
-To find new ways of forging links between our primary schools and Sunday morning services;
-To seek to integrate our Sunday youth provision more closely with our Sunday services, including exploring involving more youth in the music at those services;
2. Explore how to enable Messy Church adults to grow in their faith and discipleship, whether by providing stand-alone discipleship activities alongside Messy Church or finding ways to link them more intentionally to existing Sunday services and/or mid-week groups;
3. Separate baptism preparation from our regular Alpha course, and seek to tailor it more to the needs and interests of those attending.
We want to continue to see more members of our congregations growing as disciples of Christ
1. Grow our Wednesday prayer meeting as the center of the praying life of the parish, including inviting other Christians locally to pray with us
2. Carry out a specific campaign to encourage regular members of our congregations to join a home group;
3. Follow up Spring Harvest 2020 with testimonies to encourage new people to sign up for 2021;
4. Explore how we can resource and grow the Sunday evening Hitchhikers youth group;
5. Admit a further group of children to Communion before Confirmation.
Having completed the renovation of the entire roof at St Laurence and all three stages of the West Tower project and returned our reserves to their target level, we want to find a sustainable way to resource our mission and ministry going forward
1. Complete the third and final stage of the West Tower project in 2020 without depleting our reserves below the level stipulated in our reserves policy;
2. Find a medium-term solution to the use of the Wormley Church Room in a way that enables us to avoid ongoing deficits in our budget;
3. Seek to create sufficient financial headroom so that, in addition to a curate in 2020, we are able to explore staffing possibilities in the areas of contemporary worship and/or children and youth ministry;
4. Ensure that we have a full roster of parish officers.