At a time when we hear so much in the media about the decline of the Church – how Christianity is irrelevant, how misguided the people of faith are – I thought it would be good to demonstrate how one church, St Michael & All Angels, Summertown is bucking that trend. There is no magic ingredient to numerical growth or the deeper development of the faith-life, only that God is allowed to be God in our community of faith. People are welcomed to experience God in the beauty of worship, in the quality of welcome and in the desire for pastoral care and wellbeing of all those living in, working in or visiting our parish. This is the shared commitment of the whole church, an every-member ministry. This is a celebration which flows from the devotion, prayer and vulnerability of all those who cross the threshold of faith at St Michael’s.
THE GOOD NEWS NARRATIVE: CHRONOLOGY OF THE PAST 5 YEARS
- At interview, Gavin revealed his vision for the parish. St Michael’s was to become a threshold church, opening its doors to welcome the local community, becoming more inclusive and hospitable. Gavin is licensed to St Michael’s in September 2011.
- In June 2012, the PCC were tasked to re-imagine the future of our church and parish. A mission statement and values statement were created to act as a template for decison making. This is the criteria used to shape our mission, action and organizational change.
- In the summer of 2014, we undertook a parish audit, At the Heart of It. Its objective was to provide evidence about the church community’s core values, its needs and aspirations regarding church fabric, and how we may or may not make a difference in the local community. The results of this survey gave the PCC a mandate for strategic change.
2010 2015 % INCREASE
Electoral Roll 132 155 17%
Pledged Giving £44602 £54735 23%
Ave. Adult Sunday Attendance * 52 74 42%
Ave. Child Sunday Attendance * 9 15 66%
Christmas Day (all ages) * 116 167 44%
Easter Day (all ages) * 88 156 77% * (10am service only)
“Holy Spirit, you breathe upon what is fragile. and you rekindle the fire that was smouldering within us, to such an extent that even the nights of our heart can become the dawning of a new day.” (Brother Roger of Taizé)