Church of Bedford, St Michael and All Angels
« Mission Action Plan »
We have been successful in our outreach in person, through services, through the community and through our pro-active online presence through the lockdown. Our Facebook page reach has increased x 5 in the past 18 months. We have had new people visit us for Sunday worship who have become regular attendees. Our free parish magazine, Pew News, is in wide circulation. we have a growing junior church, Little Angels, which remains in church throughout our services and takes an active part in our worship. We have also welcomed a new member to our church family who plays an active role in our church management and is talented musically, therefore, we have been able to offer live music at our worship.
Sadly, we have had a significant number of deaths within our church family over the last two years. However, due to the kindness and generosity of their families, we have been able to significantly improve the external appearance of our church gardens and surrounding area, which has made a focal point of the church.
Despite Covid-19 restrictions, we have kept an active presence in our community, with our clergy keeping in regular contact with all church family members and reacting sympathetically to all parishioners needs. Although we were not able to build on the growth that was developing from our events, Harvest Time and Talent, Pentecost Party in the gardens, Carol Singing on the Patch, (Christian witness with our Methodist and Roman Catholic colleagues in the London Road area), we have developed resilience and adapted our outreach, mainly in our online presence with live-online worship opportunities, messages from our members, celebrating the Church year and Little Angels activities.
Our vision has not changed over the past 2 years, only paused. We will be a part of a larger Team ministry in the imminent future, however, our commitment is to meet the needs of our local community.
We remain focussed on being a welcoming centre of Church of England Worship and community engagement, offering a resource for the local community to meet and have their needs met.
Our parish is inner-urban, multi-cultural, with many short-term tenancy residents, containing significant areas of social and economic deprivation and few outlets for social engagement.
We plan to offer our own extended and refurbished facilities through a re-modelling of the church building, to offer an additional worship/ activity /social/training space for all in the community to relax, learn, be enterprising and socialise, whilst, at the same time, demonstrating our warm Christian fellowship to those of all faiths and none. Our project, paused during lockdown, is now active once again, and we have taken our first steps to examine the possibilities through a feasibility study.
We would like to offer our own permanent base for the Food Bank, local health and exercise groups, public information support (debt advice, legal service), small clubs and local enterprises.
We are keen to host a monthly cinema for local residents, seasonal invitations to cooked meals(with a new catering-style kitchen) and extend our WC facilities to cater for all needs.
We currently meet our Parish Share and having our own public space available will increase our ability to run sustainable activities which will make us financially viable and able to fund more local and charitable work in the future. It will increase our engagement in the community and make us relevant in the lives of our local residents and their families, wherever they are on their faith journey and be able to serve them in the community.
A warm but sensitive welcome is given to all who come through our doors or who contact us by other means.
Our Eucharistic services and All Age Worship services are designed to be inclusive and to share the awe and wonder and praise of Our Father, God.
Prayer plays an important part in the life of St. Michael and All Angels.
Our church family, (of all ages) is encouraged to grow in Christ and share their faith with others.
Everyone is encouraged to explore their gifts and develop them for use in Christian service.
Keeping everyone safe. The administrative team learn from and adhere to all the guidance received from the Diocese and build this into our community life. For example; Safeguarding Policy and awareness; (Every member of the PCC and those engaged in outreach has either received C0,C1,C2 training, or an equivalent from their place of work; Risk Assessment Policy: active assessment and continuous monitoring- especially Covid-19 awareness.
To communicate the love of God by growing in Christ through prayer, self-discovery and learning, so we can support and encourage anyone we meet, by example, by Christian witness and further, by offering the best opportunities for worship and active spiritual engagement within our Church setting.
Our church family are empowered to communicate the love of God to whomever they meet in any setting.
They will explore opportunities to grow in Christ in ways suited to their needs.
This is already begun by a weekly volunteer role at our church, whereby passers-by pause to chat.
We have a Lay leader of Worship who is beginning the Foundations Course of training in September.
A church member with previous worship-leader experience is preparing for Welcome (transferring from another Christian community).
We aim to adapt our church building to offer a resource for the local community. This has remined unchanged from our previous MAP, only paused through the lockdown.
The first stages towards this are now underway again through a feasibility study.
By redistributing the assets available to our church, we can offer a focal point for local community activities and needs and enable us to reach out to more people who live in our parish. For example; clubs and societies, health and welfare groups, Saturday afternoon family film shows, seasonal celebratory hot meals, community meeting point, small training centre, a point of contact for the food bank. Some of these opportunities will provide an income stream for our church.