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

Parish of Kings Langley
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Details

Parish
Kings Langley

Benefice
Langelei Team Ministry

Deanery
Hemel Hempstead

Archdeaconry
St Albans

MAP Dates

This MAP was uploaded to the website on
25th March 2021

Our MAP will be reviewed next
30th October 2022

Progress

What progress are you celebrating since your previous MAP?

Our Three Key Priorities are:
1. Attracting new worshippers of all ages
2. Building relationships with the local community
3. Making the church building inspirational for 21st century mission and ministry

We are celebrating some success in 1. and 2:
– Film and discussion evenings and fundraising events have had good engagement from people of the ‘fringe’ or beyond.
– We have a communications group looking at the website, social media and posters.
– Many people in the community were involved in the 800th anniversary events
– We have established some links with the Senior School and the Primary School, and also with Abbots Hill School
– We ran an Adult enquirers course and encouraged some new church members
– A men’s group has been established, involving people from the church family and wider community. We have occasional talks and discussions as well as social events
– We started an All Age Eucharist on the first Sunday of the month, involving Baptism families and the local Beaver group
– We introduced some new music to our main Sunday Eucharist
– We also held seasonal Celtic Evening Prayer (Lent and Advent) which was a new style of worship and attracted some new members and members of other local churches
– We began a weekly Tiny Tots group for mums and little ones, including a story time, some worship songs and a blessing
– We continue to have a good relationship with the Parish Council and local business
– We have established a church presence at the monthly village market
– We are liaising with Sunnyside rural trust, the Parish Council and Dacorum Borough Council to establish a maintenance team for our ‘new’ graveyard
– We have set up an Open table foodbank which has encouraged a number of new volunteers from the community
– We have successfully encouraged new people to take on roles in the church community – helping with the foodbank, joining the serving rota and open church rota and a new chairman of the Fabric committee
– We have established a team of pastoral visitors, some of whom will be training as home communion assistants
– The church is open on a daily basis for prayer and reflection
– We have established two new Bible Study Groups both of which meet via zoom. The groups are helping members ‘go deeper into God’ through engaging with the Bible. We hope to increase this provision.
– The electoral roll hit a low of 88 in 2019 and has recovered despite deaths and people moving away to 106 (March 2020)
– The average Sunday congregation rose from 53 in Feb 2019 to 65 by Feb 2020. The picture is less clear after the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic, but there are good engagement figures online, and a there has been a steady increase in our Facebook Community and website usage.

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

5 stars

Where has there been less progress than hoped for?

– Making connections with village schools – we have a good connection with Abbots hill, a small connection to Kings Langley Senior School and a tentative connection to Kings Langley Primary School
– We have not made progress on reordering the church building. Although we have set up a reordering group and are working on a consultation and communications plan.
– We have connected with more families and with more people of All Ages but many of these are ‘fringe’ connections which could be built on
– We have had no confirmations despite some new church members
– The Tiny Tots Group has a small number of regulars but could be developed
– The All age service involved some Baptism families and Beaver Scout families, but no older children.
– There could be more development in working with the local scout and guide groups. This has since stopped due to Covid-19, as has Tiny Tots and our Sunday School (though there is some virtual provision for the latter and activities to pick up from Church each week for the former).

Vision

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

Our Vision: A welcoming, open and inclusive church which is energised by faith, open
to change, especially in worship & liturgy, and attended by people of all ages who are
actively involved in all aspects of a successful and joyful church.

We summarise this as: All Saints: Church in our community; community in our church.

Context:

We have explored our story as a church, our character and the last chapter of our life, including our Mission Statistics.
We have considered this alongside the context, character and story of the parish.

What emerges as the character of All Saints is one of welcome, openness, prayerfulness and service at the heart of the village, and a desire to grow in numbers, to involve more families and to attract more people to feel part of and join in with our worship and service as a ‘hub’ of village life.

This reflects our dedication as ‘All Saints’, and we have explored the meaning of this through a series of talks and in sermons. All Saints means all God’s people/all welcome; it means the example of the saints in mission and service; it means the communion of saints with whom we are united in love, prayer and worship of God.

The character of Kings Langley is clearly focussed on community, support and mutuality borne out in the activities of other local groups and our partners. So there is resonance between how we understand ourselves and how the village sees itself.

The population of the parish is 6150.

It ranks 11566 out of 12382 for overall deprivation, although there are less well off families, lone parents and older people in the parish, and as we are in a Team some needs also cross the boundary from neighbouring parishes.

We know there is a reasonably high proportion of families with children, teenagers and grown up children (19.2% lone parenthood), as well as young and middle aged people in the village (only 16.8% of the parish are ‘older population’). Kings Langley is part of the commuter belt. 16% of the working age population have no qualifications.

Other than the Church and the schools, key partners and sites in the parish are: two doctors surgeries, the parish Council, Senior School, Primary School, a nursery and a children’s centre, scout hut, community centre, high street with several independent and well-supported businesses, the cricket club, football club and bowls club, the common, a small industrial area at the bottom of church lane, and others along the canal/lower road, from Railway Terrace to the Station – these comprise a variety from light engineering to offices.

The Church sits physically just off-centre of the village centre, and is in a prominent location when viewed from East side of the parish. It sits within the landscape rather than dominating it – but it is not hidden. The church also benefits from the now cleared and well-managed ‘village garden’, which sits between All Saints and the Watford road. The large churchyard is well used as a green space. It is closed but we have a good number of burials of ashes each year. The Southern section of the graveyard retains the graveyard character with standing monuments. The ‘old churchyard’ around the church building has a few significant monuments still standing but has more of a ‘park’ character.

Values

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

We are:
Growing, Joyful, Open, Caring and Prayerful
And our purpose is:
To worship God, to care for each other and to serve our community.

1st Priority

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

Attracting new worshippers of all ages

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 1st Priority most focus on?
Making New Disciples

SMART Goal to achieve your 1st Priority

Establish an monthly informal service aimed at children and families. This will be an outdoor ‘Forest Church’ type service.

SMART:

Specific
– A small team of laity has been established to launch and run this with the Vicar.
– Training via an Outdoor worship webinar 4th Feb 2021 attended by some team members
– Minimal finances necessary (occasional materials, refreshments covered by donations).
– First Sunday of the month 11.15am, refreshments from 10.30am.
– Begin and end in the ‘Village Garden’ (use of which requires the team to liaise with the Parish Council). Services will then use the church yard or the village as appropriate.
– Advertising: posters for our own notice boards and those around the village. The Team will liaise with the parish council for this. Our Communications group will be able to promote this online (website and social media). Circulate poster as invite to schools and youth local youth groups and do the same with our mailing lists, as well as posters/articles in the local press.
– The service is overseen by the Team Vicar and supported by the PCC. Safeguarding training is in place or will be followed up as new helpers get involved.

Measurable
– The first objective is to establish a new monthly congregation, increasing membership of the Church
– Secondly, to nurture the faith of those who attend, and for them to become more involved in the planning and delivery of the service and the wider life of the church community
– Thirdly, to serve the community by offering engagement with others and the outside world through worship, to combat loneliness and improve mental health.

Achievable?
– 1: A number of ‘fringe’ families have expressed interest in a new informal service. The parish has a reasonably large cohort of families with school age children whom this service is aimed at.
– 2: Each month will explore different aspects of faith through a theme, accessible for all ages. Those who attend will be encouraged each time get involved in planning and delivery.
– 3: The outdoor setting will make it easier to engage with others, even with social distancing, and services will deliberately use the natural world and being outdoors as part of the worship to hep people connect.

Realisitic?
– Yes. As soon as the Covid-19 restrictions allow we have an enthusiastic team who are ready with themes and will be planning the first services in the meantime.
– We have the resources to support it in terms of the Team, time and finances (minimal) and the significant asset of the churchyard and our location in the historic village centre with other accessible places to explore and things to see.
– We expect to trial the new service for 12 months initially so as not to overcommit if we cannot either establish the new service or grow the team of helpers/leaders.

Time
– The launch date of 3/01/21 has been postponed due to the Covid-19 situation.
– We will launch as soon as it is safe to do so, hopefully 4/4/2021.
– There will be a review after 3, 6 and 12 months. We will seek to understand if we are meeting our objectives and what changes or developments are appropriate.

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 1st Priority

Run and Enquirers course in 2021 and 2022 for new or ‘fringe’ members

SMART

Specific
– This will involve the Vicar and 2 or three Lay leaders to act as ‘hosts’.
– It will run online or in person depending on Covid-19 restrictions
– Lay leaders need to be identified, approached and briefed on their role (welcome participants in person or online and facilitate discussions in break out rooms/small groups).
– Personal invitations will be made to those who may wish to attend
– The course will be advertised via the website, social media, posters in the village (parish council) and at church, as well as being included in the weekly notice sheet and newsletter to our mailing list, as well as articles/posters in local press.
– Once a group comes together a convenient day and time over 8-10 weeks will be arranged, beginning in Easter time. There will also be a day out planned at the end of the course (Covid-19 permitting) including food, fellowship, worship and reflection
– A Deanery confirmation service will be coordinated with or the bishop invited to confirm any candidates arising from the group, in the late summer or autumn each year.
– Minimal finances (occasional printing – posters and materials, hospitality if in person, hospitality on the day out).
– The PCC is in support and Safeguarding requirements are in place for Leaders (Vicar) and facilitators, or will be followed up as necessary.

Measurable
– The first objective is to introduce new/’fringe’ members to the ‘basics’ of Christian Faith and to help them grow in that faith, hopefully towards confirmation.
– Secondly, to grow numbers in the church family, both by building cohesion in the group and building relationships with established church members (the facilitators) and the Vicar.
– Thirdly, to encourage more regular and active membership of the church family and greater involvement in our service of the community.

Achievable?
– Yes. A number of new members and occasional worshippers are joining us online and in person, so it would be reasonable to think that some will want to join the course. We hope online and traditional advertising will reach out to others in the wider community.

Realistic?
– Yes. We have the time to offer this, and the financial resources (minimal).
– A small team of lay-leaders needs to be established and briefed. to enable this to go forward.
– Research suggests that small group discussion, with a strong fellowship element and space for participants to share their own thoughts without judgement, and linking with a key person other than the vicar, helps to establish people in church communities.

Time
– Build Team and invite/advertise Lent each year
– course runs from after Easter for 8 – 10 weeks
– Confirmation late summer/autumn
– review with after course ends each year

SMART Goal 3 to achieve your 1st Priority

Develop our communications, advertising and online presence

SMART

Specific
– increase interactions and reach on Facebook.
– Develop the notice board in the porch into a welcome board including ‘who’s who’ and key information.
– Continue to advertise on village notice boards, but have a programme of when different events need advertising each year.
– continue to use church noticeboards – factor this into the programme of advertising
– advertise All Saints as a ‘venue’ for the occasional offices (Weddings, Baptisms and funerals), through posters, online, leaflets at the funeral directors and in church, and through a ‘Kings Langley Weddings’ website.
– Communications group to meet to review our current advertising and website and to draw up a ‘standard’ Comms plan.

Measurable
– the primary objective is to increase numbers at services, events and fundraisers and to increase the number of occasional offices.
– The secondary objective is to make the contact we have with the community regular and working to a programme rather than ad hoc
– The third objective is to improve communication of what is happening to our core and fringe members

Achievable
Yes. With a review and a structured standard comms plan the objectives are within reach.

Realistic?
Yes. We have a small team with the skills and willingness to look at this area. We have the coming year in which to make improvements. There should be no increase in costs – this is to use the website and posters we currently budget for more effectively.

Time
– Comms team to meet after Easter 2021
– Standard comms plan is a one off activity, as is deciding on website developments
– To be reviewed in Autumn 2021 (ready for Christmas) and New Year 2022

2nd Priority

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

Building relationships with the local community

Which of the 3 strands of Living God’s Love does your 2nd Priority most focus on?
Transforming Communities

SMART Goal to achieve your 2nd Priority

Develop the Foodbank – in terms of promotion locally, ideas such as recipe cards and community involvement

SMART

Specific
– Gather existing helpers to consider creation of a community based team – initial zoom meeting 03/03/21
– Share ideas for development and assign actions
– Develop governance of the foodbank which is at present a relatively informal project.
– It will continue to run in the church building during church open hours and we have the resourcing for the current arrangement – it is stocked from donations. Consider resourcing for developments e.g. recipe cards, advertising, labelling, signage. For new team to consider and report back as it develops.
– Continue to advertise on Facebook. Hard copy posters need to be renewed around the village.
– Explore further partnering with local groups to connect better with those in need.
– An ‘outpost’ is being established at St Mary Apsley – consider sustainability beyond the initial personnel.

Measurable
– Firstly the objective is to provide food and essentials to those in need in and around the parish, and to get the message out to them.
– Secondly it is to increase community involvement in running the foodbank, establishing a new sub-committee drawn from the wider community as well as All Saints to oversee it’s management and develpment.
– thirdly working with local partners to identify developments to our offer.

Achievable?
– Yes, we already know that the foodbank is used and appreciated. We aim to build on this.
– We are also already liaising with a Parish Councillor and local schools and we have a small group of volunteers.

Realistic?
Yes. We have a year to 18 months to pursue this development and a number of volunteers engaged in seeing it develop and succeed.

Time
– initial meeting before Easter 2021 and a follow up has been planned for after Easter.
– In the meantime a sub-team is looking into a plan to recruit a community based team to manage the foodbank.

SMART Goal 2 to achieve your 2nd Priority

Pursue the Eco church bronze award

SMART

Specific
– Eco issues link to reordering and churchyard development
– Make Reordering group aware of relevant sections of the Eco award (BUILDINGS) which impact reordering and ask them to factor this into plans.
– Include relevant requirements for the Eco award (LAND) in further discussions with Dacorum and Sunnyside Rural trust about developments of the churchyard.
– Include Eco award requirements in the church’s worshipping life (WORSHIPPING AND TEACHING AND LIFESTYLE). Base these on the creation-focussed parts of the calendar (Plough Sunday, Mothering Sunday, Rogationtide, Lammastide, Harvest). Team Vicar and Director of music to discuss this initially

Measurable
– The questionnaire will establish where we are and give us some aims to build towards an award level. The objective is to work towards and achieve the bronze level during this MAP period.

Achievable?
– Yes, we are doing or are aware of the opportunity to do many of the things which form part of the award scheme already so it should act as a guide to making and marking progress.

Realistic
– Yes, the PCC is aware of and wants to respond to the greening challenge. We have a benefice environmental team to help support and advise and to champion this across the benefice and All Saints has three reps on this group.

Time
– A member of the environmental team will be asked to undertake the Eco church questionnaire on the PCC’s behalf with support from the standing committee after the APCM
– The results will then be reviewed by the rep and the standing committee with some initial, achievable, recommendations for the rest of 2021 and for 2022 for each of the projects mentioned above (Worship and Teaching themed around the creation festivals, Reordering, Churchyard)

3rd Priority

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

Making the church building inspirational for 21st century mission and ministry
This priority focuses in different ways on all three strands of Living God’s Love

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

SMART Goal to achieve your 3rd Priority

Progress the Reordering

SMART

Specific
– A reordering group with sub-groups has been formed to take the project forward with an overview of finance and timescales for the project. The PCC and the reordering group are in the process of confirming the governance between the two bodies, the latter acting on behalf of the former.
– The group meets on a monthly basis with sub-groups meeting in between
– The project requires us to work alongside other groups e.g. the DAC and the reordering committee is overseeing this
– The project also requires consultation and communication which is also overseen by the reordering group
– The same is true for funding. The PCC has designated some seed capital for the project but the reordering group will need to seek further funding through grant applications and fundraising.

Measurable
– Firstly, the aim is to have a church plant (church building, supporting buildings, access) which enables an inclusive welcome for all, a more flexible space for worship and for wider community use.
– Secondly, a reordering will support the financial sustainability of All Saints into the future (e.g. more outside groups using/hiring our spaces) and the need to become a greener church (e.g. a more environmentally friendly heating system).

Achievable?
– Yes, though it is a large project which will extend beyond the current MAP period. We have a team to carry it forward, support from the PCC and from the church community.

Realistic?
– Yes, though the exact vision is still developing and funding will effect timescales for delivery of the elements.

Time
– This is a large ongoing project. Consultation with the church family has taken place (Nov 2020 – Jan 2021) and the reordering group has detailed and developing timelines for the project.

MAP published at www.stalbans.anglican.org/maps/?id=26203
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  • Going Deeper into God
  • Making New Disciples
  • Transforming Communities