July 2017

Going green

I write this in the week after Trinity Sunday. It seems like an age since we started Advent, and since then, we have gone through a variety of liturgical colours to mark the various seasons of the church’s year. These are now behind us, and we faced with endless weeks of green in communion vestments and, in the lucky churches, in altar frontals. 

There are good reasons for this. As we pass from Advent to Ascension, we mark the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. From now on, the story moves from that of Jesus to that of his church: and as we read that story, it is truly wondrous to see how rapidly and strongly that church grew. 

That is why this is the green season. For all of us, having again lived through the story of Jesus, I hope that we all want the story of the church’s growth to continue and to play our part in that.

Now I know that, to the wider world, the church is in decline. But it does not have to be. While there are so many many people who have not heard the story of Jesus, there is work that needs to be done. That is why our deanery has developed a mission action plan focussing on growth. I hope that is something that everyone will approve of that. By the time most people will have read this, there will have been an open meeting at Peterchurch (Saturday July 1st at 2.00pm in case you read this first) where the plan will have been presented. there will then a time for prayer and reflection before a further meeting in September where, I hope, the plan will be adopted. At its heart, the plan looks at how we minister to Young People, 198 -n50 Year olds, Local People, Incomers and those who attend Weddings, Funerals and Baptisms.

If there is one thing that is clear, it is that doing the same thing again and again and hoping for a different result is not the mark of wisdom. Things will have to change. I know of a number of vicars appointed to new benefices who are given the clear message that everyone will welcome change so long as you don’t actually alter anything. If we truly want the church to grow - and I hope we do - we have to be prepared to do things differently. 

I do hope that many of you will have managed to get to the meeting at Peterchurch, and that, if you haven’t, you get a chance to read what we are about. There will be a copy on the benefice website.

I also hope that you will want your church to grow, to be green and flourishing. For we all know what the alternative is.

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