Welcome to The Parish Church of St Michael, Tilehurst

Charity Commission Registered Number: 1131421
St Michaels What Next Sermons

You can read the full synopsis of the What Next program further down this page - here is an update of the current position.

An update - January 2016

On 28 November 2015, we held a parish workshop to explore how God was asking us to respond individually and as a church to the Five Marks of Mission and to develop a plan for the next few years. The workshop was attended by 27 people, and skilfully facilitated by Catharine Morris (Parish Development Advisor). Catharine started off by reminding us of God's rich resources, quoting the theologian Tim Dearborn "It is not the church of God that has a mission in the world but the God of mission who has a church in the world" Catharine used a quiz to help us focus on the profile of people who live in our parish.

  • 21% under 16
  • 41% have a mortgage
  • 61% are Christian
  • 2% are Muslim
  • 22% do not have a car/van
  • 23% over 16 have a degree

She then led us through a series of group discussions:-

  • What would you miss at St Michael's if it disappeared?
  • What gaps exist at St Michael's?
  • In five years' time, we want to be a church that demonstrates each Mark of Mission by....

Following the final discussion, groups provided a brief summary of their ideas against each of the Five Marks, and attendees voted for their favourites.

After a lunchbreak (and lots more informal discussion), a worship session took place in the church led by Catharine and the Rector. The attendees were asked to submit a pledge card indicating to what they would commit to take their ideas forward.

After the workshop the steering group, Caroline, Sally, Denise and Alison, met to collate the feedback from the parish day, and also to consider the response forms which had been completed by those unable to attend the workshop. From this input, they have produced a draft 'action plan'. This will be discussed with the PCC at their January meeting and the recommendations going forward will be presented to the congregation at services on 21 February 2016.

We would like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who took part. It was great to have such a wealth of views and ideas. They place us in a really strong position to develop our involvement in God's mission at St Michael's over the next five years. As Catharine reminded us this is God's mission and we therefore welcome your prayers that we might all be empowered by the Holy Spirit and establish our purpose and plan before God, both as individuals and as a church.

Below are the original documents at the start of the What Next program.....

What Next? for St Michael's Church - November 2015

Now the huge project to restore St Michael's so beautifully is nearing completion, the minds of the Rector and the PCC have been turning to how we can better fill it and use it to the glory of God. A small subgroup of the PCC has been tasked with putting into action a plan which will enable EVERYONE in St Michael's to become involved with thinking about what we might do differently over the next three to five years.

We are very aware that people are already very busy and somewhat tired of things which start well but don't always come to fruition. So we suggested a few ground rules.

  • 1. Don't start from scratch - start from where we are.
  • 2. Celebrate and build on what we already do well.
  • 3. Don't try to do too much - select a few things to do well which we have the energy and willing volunteers to complete.

With all of those points in mind, we decided that an exploration of the five marks of mission, might help us to think about what we are doing already and our priorities for what we want to do next. The Five Marks of Mission have been developed by the Anglican Church to describe contemporary mission. They have been used by a number of churches to help work through their next steps:

Five Marks of Mission at St MichaelsThe Five Marks of Mission

4th October - INTRODUCTION - An Introductory Sermon by The Rector at the start of the Five Marks of Mission services.

5th Mark - 11th October - Jenny Foakes
TREASURE- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

1st Mark - 18th October - Nigel Hardcastle
TELL- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.

3rd Mark - 25th October - Jan Rogers
TEND- To respond to human need by loving service.

2nd Mark - 1st November - John Rogers
TEACH- To teach, baptise and nurture believers.

4th Mark - 8th November - Duncan White
TRANSFORM- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation.

The plan is to have, over the course of six weeks from 4th October and 8th November, a series of sermons which will provide an introduction and explanation of each of the five marks, which will prompt us to think about what we are already doing and whether there are other activities we could consider. We want everyone to hear each of the sermons so the same sermon will be repeated at every service during the week. Summary copies will be available in church and on this website - no reason to miss out!

We are organising a parish half day workshop followed by a lunch on November 28th as an opportunity for as many as possible to come together to feed in ideas for What Next? Catherine Morris from Diocesan House will help facilitate the session to collate ideas. If you are not able to attend, don't worry, you can submit your ideas on a questionnaire nearer the time.

The Questionnaire/Feedback Form is now available. Please print it locally on your own printer then complete it and then hand it in to the Parish Office or leave it at the back of the Church by Wednesday the 25th November.

The ideas will be pulled together into an overall plan, which will be submitted to the PCC for approval and to the parish in January 2016.

Our hope is that this programme will enable each of us to work through what we are personally going to do, rather than what should be done. This will include physically active tasks as well as less energetic ones, prayers are really important, so age is no barrier! Please note the dates and become involved.

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