Church of Essendon, St Mary the Virgin
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The Covid pandemic obviously affected us in many ways. The good news is that our ZOOM services and ZOOM PCC meetings kept the PCC and the congregation together and that we were able to carry out some, albeit in a limted way, of our MAP projects. The re-painted, re-carpeted and generally spruced-up Church room now looks warm and welcoming as activities start there. The side chapel has been tidied up and is now used for prayers before our weekday communion
The Church led the way in a wonderful community event on the village field to celebrate the end of Covid restrictions.
Since then we took part in a community event designed to build on the community spirit shown throughout the past 2 years. The Church, the Sunday Club and The Friends of St Mary’s manned their stalls with leaflets etc
The refurbishment of the main church has been postponed because of rain coming in.
We have not achieved broadband connection but will continue down that path.
Contact with the school and the work of our Sunday Club have obviously been much affected, although our foundation governor has given stirling support to the school during considerable problems faced by the resignation of the headteacher, pisolation regulations, on-line teaching and finally a serious covid outbreak.
ZOOM services cotinue on a monthly basis but the potential has still much to offer.
Finances have not been helped by the pandemic. The ways of dealing with the deficit are contentious and long-term. We realise that this is not perhaps a suitable MAP focus.
Congregation numbers as counted across the benfice for ZOOM services held up well considering the technical challenge for a largely elderly congregation, and we saw a promising interest among young people. We rejoice that people are now coming back into church but numbers have dropped.
Our vision and core values remain unaltered
Planning and marketing of the Family service
Set up sub-committee
Change of name from “Family Service” to “All Age ” service
New service sheet for this service. Leaflet for circulation in the community Planning of themes for the service over period of a year.
A greener, welcoming churchyard
As suggested by “Queen’s Green Canopy” project, plant a tree. Consider other aspects of creating a sense of welcome.
Instal a bench in the lychgate for elderly parishioners waiting for transport,and for anyone needing tempory shelter from weather, and a place to sit for a moment and chat(dogwalkers, teenagers etc)
Continue to make good use of the noticeboard in lychgate as means of publicising all that’s going on in the Church and seeking involvement. (a bench brings a wider “readership”.
Make the church rainproof. Buckets around the pulpit not helpful furnishing if trying to increase our congregation. We need to get a section of the roof re-sealed before we can return to our previous goal of refurbishing the interior.
The problem has been diagnosed, we now need to get estimates for the work needed.
Speak with the “Friends of St Mary’s ” re financial support for this work
Have roof repairs complete before Easter at the latest