As the Rector explained at the Together at Ten service at St Andrew’s recently, the Way Ahead Group has been set up to think about how the parish should be adapting itself to changing circumstances. We have no set agenda at this stage to go this way or that way. We simply want to explore our options and to see how we might wish to develop the church’s mission in this parish over the next twenty years or so. That seems a long time, but we celebrate Andrew’s twenty years as Rector here later this year, which puts matters in perspective.
A very important part of this process is that there should be the widest possible involvement and participation in this process. For that reason we intend to post an account of each monthly Way Ahead meeting we hold, on our parish website, so that everyone can read it.
We also very much welcome feedback and comments. Although we anticipate that most of these will come from parishioners, anyone is welcome to contribute their thoughts. We’re working on a way to get feedback through e-mail or the website, but in the meanwhile this is a list of the people in the Way Ahead Group and do button-hole any of them with your views: The Rector, Robert Oakes, Andrew Deacon, Peter Bonsey, Caroline Lake, Spencer Wearne, Ian Courtis, Jenny Snuggs, Gary Eve.
What follows is the minutes of the first meeting which amongst other things sets out the subjects to be discussed, when they are being discussed, and who is leading the discussion. It goes without saying that there are no hard and fast boundaries and issues arising in one topic are bound to relate to other issues.
Peter Bonsey Churchwarden
The Way Ahead – Calstock Parish Meeting held on Thursday 24th May 2012
Present: Andrew Wilson, Robert Oakes, Peter Bonsey, Ian Courtis, Spencer Wearne, Caroline Lake
Not present Andrew Deacon, Jenny Snuggs, Gary Eve
Peter welcomed everyone to the meeting.
All agreed that the subject areas were acceptable.
Although it is hard to find a day suitable to all, it was agreed that we will meet on the 4th Thursday of the month. Peter will check with those not present that this is acceptable.
Size of the Group We discussed what would be an appropriate number for this group. Suggestion made that we invite representatives of other denominations in the parish. Ian to liaise with the Methodists. Andrew W to liaise with the Roman Catholics.
We will also invite a member of our neighbouring parish (Andrew W to arrange).
Individuals with particular experience and talents will be invited to attend specific meetings to share with us.
Subjects for discussion at future meetings
It was suggested that for each meeting one (or two) members prepare some background, chair the meeting and circulate minutes following the meeting.
Thursday 28th June ‘Worshipping God in this Parish’ – to be prepared and chaired by Peter Bonsey
Thursday 26th July ‘ Living out the gospel, preaching the gospel and spreading the gospel in this Parish’ – it was suggested that Gary be asked to chair this meeting (possibly with Martin Sellix). Peter to check that Gary is willing to do this. Others with specific experience will also be invited.
Thursday 27th September ‘Caring for those who need care in this parish, whether members of our Church or not’ – to be prepared and chaired by Ian Courtis (possibly in conjunction with a member of the Methodist congregation). Others with specific experience will also be invited.
Thursday 25th October ‘The skills and experience of our clergy and laity and how can they be used and developed most effectively’ – to be prepared and chaired by Andrew W.
Thursday 22nd November ‘The buildings, money and other physical assets we have been given. How can they be used and developed most effectively for the purposed identified above’ – to be prepared and chaired by Spencer and Caroline.
Keeping everyone informed
It is important that we keep others informed of what is being discussed and that the PCC are kept up to date.
In order to do this it was agreed that minutes of each meeting will be circulated to the entire group to agree (please ‘reply to all’). The minutes will then be circulated to the PCC for information prior to being put onto the web site.
This will ensure that all interested parties will know what is being discussed.
The subject to be discussed at upcoming meetings will be outlined on the Grapevine. Anyone who would like to put forward their view can contact one of the Church Wardens who can present these views at the meeting.
Everyone was reminded that although what we are discussing is not confidential, the views expressed by specific individuals should remain within the group.
Next meeting – Thursday 28th June 7.30pm at the Rectory.
Way Ahead Group: 28th June 2012 Worshipping God in this Parish
At its meeting on 28th June, the Way Ahead Group looked at the patterns of worship in our Parish, and discussed how these might be developed in view of changing circumstances.
We considered our existing patterns of Sunday worship comprising a Eucharist at each of the three churches in the Parish, and evensong always at St Andrews. In addition there are midweek celebrations of the Eucharist at Calstock and Gunnislake. It was noted that all these different services tend to have a different constituency, and these different needs must be valued and taken into account.
However, now that the Rector and Robert Oakes are covering the four churches of the St. Mellion group as well, the existing pattern in the Calstock group is simply no longer possible. There are, therefore, only two alternatives: one is to have fewer services; the other is to have the same, or nearly the same, number of services, but for some to be non-Eucharistic services led by Readers or by members of the laity. Various kinds of ‘Services of the Word’, Messy Church (for Oldies as well as for children?), Family services etc. were discussed as not requiring a Priest to be present, though only those who have been ordained, or are Readers, are allowed to preach.
The Rector emphasised that there were many patterns of worship that could be developed, but they would be dependent on ordinary members of the congregation coming forward to lead them. From that point of view, having to spread the ordained clergy more thinly isn’t a problem to be addressed, but a huge opportunity for opening new approaches to worship. However the issue also raises questions of authority. The authority of the parish priest derives from the Bishop who has total authority in his see. The authority of Readers or the Laity to take services would derive from the Bishop through the Parish Priest. Whilst a flatter hierarchy would be wholly desirable, it is also essential that there shouldn’t become, in effect, breakaway churches and worship within the Parish. The Bishop’s authority, through the Parish Priest, remains paramount.
The Rector suggested a pattern that might develop for Sunday worship, would be to have a regular 9.15 Eucharist each Sunday at Calstock, and a 10.30 service at both Gunnislake and Harrowbarrow, one of which would be a Eucharist and the other a Service of the Word. These would alternated between the two churches.
We also looked at the physical structures of our churches (‘walls holding up a roof to keep the altar dry’ was the Rector’s comment), and also their internal layout. At present they all had fixed pews facing directly forwards which was perhaps more appropriate to a rigid and hierarchical past than to present day requirements. In particular these rigid ordered rows of pews were unsuitable for smaller groups e.g. the Julian group (silent meditation) or Healing Services.
The Rector suggested that perhaps Harrowbarrow church would be a good place to start. It could quite easily have its pews taken out, a carpet laid, and suitable chairs installed which could be used in a variety of configurations. Warming to the theme, he also suggested that a Peace Garden could be developed on the land behind the church, and on a more practical note a toilet too.
We are very conscious that there are no right/wrong answers to these issues. The two fastest growing parts of the Church of England are the Evangelical wing, which is probably the most informal end of worship, and the Cathedrals, which are probably the most highly formalised. Formality or informality in worship don’t, of themselves, seem to be the key issues. Perhaps what matters most is that whatever is done, is done well.
We also discussed the importance of ‘civic’ worship. Many people only come to church for baptisms, weddings, funerals or other great occasions. Nevertheless there is a widespread understanding in the community of their ownership of their Parish Church and its worship. Even if this is not much reflected in attendance at church, it should, nevertheless, be recognised and valued. It is essential that the whole community should feel able to belong to their parish churches, and that the churches and their worship are not reserved for some self appointed elite few. ptb
Way Ahead Group 28th June 2012 : Living out the Gospel, preaching the Gospel and spreading the Gospel in this Parish
At the meeting on the 28th June, the Way Ahead Group looked at living out the Gospel, preaching the Gospel and spreading the Gospel in the Parish. Our leader for this meeting, Gary Eve, was unable to attend but we followed his outline notes.
We took the Gospel to mean the message about Christ, God’s kingdom and salvation, a message that makes us different from the bowls club. Our conduct may be the only Gospel some people ever see and we were encouraged to stand fast in what can be terrifying times and encourage one another. Gary set out a series of questions which challenged us to consider our personal responses to some Scriptures around the topic of the Gospel and some of our thoughts follow. He also reminded us of St Francis’ instruction to his followers to preach the gospel at all times and if necessary to use words.
The Rector distinguished between encouraging people to faith rather than church attendance. He quoted instances where he has taken the Gospel to where the people are; for example the Harvest Festival at the Queen’s Head in Albaston. There are also chaplains in many walks of life. Being members of other organisations locally was seen as a natural way to live the Gospel.
Looking at preaching the Gospel, it was recognised that Sunday is now a totally different type of day to former times. Some churches even meet on another day. This particular parish has significantly more retired people than families. Future service changes would be an opportunity to encourage newcomers. For example, changing the time of services at Harrowbarrow could be more convenient for families to attend. Specific themed services are an option: the pet service is to be repeated, renewal of marriage vows may encourage some. Some churches use exciting advertising and certainly clear and welcoming invitations to events was seen as necessary.
We discussed the difficulties of reaching people in today’s climate, acknowledging that Gary’s questions made us face our own personal attitudes to the Gospel as Christians. How we personally became responsive to the Gospel varied in the group and a return to faith later in life was often experienced. This was frequently the result of some ‘mid-life crisis’ caused maybe by divorce, unexpected bereavement, redundancy or failure of a business venture etc. How could we provide low key and unobtrusive support in an un-churchy way to people being forced to reconsider everything they’d taken for granted in their lives? Being on the lookout for opportunities to listen to others and speak about our faith, of loving without strings does work, if backed up with prayer. More sermons that encourage Christians in the practical aspects of sharing one’s faith would help. Maybe these should be recorded and put on the Parish Website as mp3 files. By definition a sermon in church is preaching to the converted. A sermon on line may only be accessed by one person, but it might be the one person who needed it.
There are many things we can do, instead of limiting ourselves based on a few things we’re warned to avoid. Inviting a friend to come to, say, the Harvest Supper is simple to do and a time when Christians enjoy a social event together. Alpha Courses and other similar teaching courses have been run in the Parish and have been an effective means to increase one’s faith. Bible studies and home groups are a friendly and less challenging means to talk about God and our understanding of faith. It was recognised that being pushy and over-friendly to newcomers could have the opposite effect. Relationships with other churches in the area were discussed; being seen as united as Christians locally was an essential element. Some progress is being made in this area. LDB
The Parish of Calstock THE WAY AHEAD: Minutes of the meeting of 27th September 2012 Caring for those who need care in this parish, whether members of the Church or not [The meeting was held at the Rectory, Calstock]
Those present: Rev Robert Oakes, Rev David Stolton, Ruth Wilton, Peter Bonsey, Jenny Snuggs, Andrew Deacon, Lorna Baker, Spencer Wearne, Caroline Lake and Ian Courtis Apologies: Rev Andrew Wilson and Gary Eve
1 Rev David Stolton and Ruth Wilton, from Tamar Valley Methodist Church, were welcomed and it was noted that this friendship and alliance was a very important part of our Way Forward.
2 The Caring Church:
How do we make it clear to all that the Church as an institution, and not just its individuals, cares for all? We noted the enormous amount and great variety of work the clergy do in our community; the work of the Pastoral Care Team and the great support shown in each church for the Food Bank; the involvement of so many church members in all sorts of groups and committees in the Parish and beyond.
Could we do more to make the care of the Church apparent? It had been suggested that ‘Communication, Communication, Communication’ was vital. The Parish Website was proving a great asset. It was agreed that Church noticeboards should be as helpful and attractive as possible, with Church and community information. We should, perhaps, in this hilly and scattered parish have a more formal system of car share and lifts: a list of phone numbers.
The question of OPEN churches was discussed. There had been a strong suggestion from an unnamed person in the parish that the Parish Church should always be open for private prayer and meditation. The problem of vandalism was raised by Ruth and David. However, a surprising number of people come and walk around the churchyard and to offer them an always-open church to sit in, where they could reflect or pray, would be a great service to the community. If we adapted our buildings, it was noted, they could be used for many more activities, church and community. The buildings are one of our great assets, it was agreed, and at the moment they lie unused for most of the week. We could show care by having them open much more for a variety of uses.
3 The ‘Lost Generation’
It was immediately said that there are, in fact, two lost generations since the average age of our members is around 60. Many people, parents and their children, know little about the Church and don’t think it as any bearing on their lives. David and Ruth told us of their new initiative at Tamar Valley Church in starting to employ a youth worker. They stressed that the formal procedure of employment had to be followed closely. In the end, the job had been won by David’s daughter, Morag. She works (25 hours a week) at four Methodist churches, including Tamar Valley e.g. running a junior choir, a toddle-in nursery school, Messy Church, table tennis club etc. [Her approach to all is bible-based, though not in too obtrusive a fashion] Two generations are often involved, as parents come along too. Also at Tamar Valley Church, on the first Sunday of the month at 6.30p.m., there is ‘Reality TV’ – ‘a contemporary, more informal service with a worship band and a socially relevant bible message.’
4 What do people want and expect from the Church and should we ask them?
The meeting did not express much enthusiasm for a local survey / questionaire. But it was thought we could learn something from the 2004 Ecumenical Church Committee’s 2004 Survey in which it was repeatedly said by interviewees that the clergy should be freed up by the laity so that priests can concentrate on visiting those most in need or in a crisis or bereaved, making new contacts, visiting the unchurched. The Survey quoted a Wiltshire churchgoer ‘There is no need for the vicar to attend every fund raising commitee or to be struggling with the duplicating machine, printing off copies of service sheets. Others should be entrusted. The vicar should be the worker at the coal face, at the cutting edge. How delighted we would be to hear these words from the vicar: “I can’t come to the parish meeting this evening. I am going knocking on doors.” ‘
It was agreed that the increased role of the laity had become crucial as more and more of the clergy retired. Lay people could take over a lot of routine (though very important) visits to the elderly and house-bound. The question of ‘Counselling’ came up and it was agreed that this required a very special skill and training. What we are mainly about, in the parish is, befriending, neighbourly care etc. With thorough organisation we could identify cases of need more easily: A ‘Good Neighbour Scheme’?
5 What Resources have we got? And what haven’t we got? We agreed that we have people, willing hands, though no longer of an age for running youth clubs. We have got resources in terms of money and buildings. [ Money is now spent in the upkeep of buildings which are locked up except for a few hours a week].
An example of an imaginative adaptation of a church building was cited: the ‘Tubestation’ at Polzeath, formerly the Methodist Church. The original idea was to serve surfers.After a long consultation with the whole community in 2006/7, a project plan was devised and fund raising began. The aim became to turn the building into a great resource for all age-groups. It is now used for all sorts of activities including computer classes. There is a large skateboard membership. It is also a thriving church once more.
Also mentioned was ‘The Unit’ in Launceston. The DHL Transport Depot building was transformed (2010), on the initiative of Launceston Methodists, into a skatepark. Tuesday night is Christian Skaters’ night (free entry before 7pm) with a bible study session followed by a skating session. Regret was expressed that Anthony Hollow’s plan for the adaptation of St Anne’s Church Gunnislake was not taken up. Could this building become a community resource? A Parish Office down below? Is there room for a coffee shop? David suggested that any such adaptation has to be convincing i.e. modern and comfortable.
Could Harrowbarrow Church, also, become a community resource? It was suggested that the Parish Church could possibly be made more comfortable! There is no running water in the building; the loo is not for the frail or disabled; several layers of clothing have to be worn during most months of the year. The experience of Rev Robert Oakes at St Mary’s Callington and the changes made there may be helpful. Tamar Valley Church will soon be used as a branch of the Food Bank (they will need volunteers to run it): a good example of a vital use of a church building.
6 Is working with others part of the Way Forward?
The whole tenor of the meeting indicated a resounding Yes to this question. We are Christians Together in this Parish. Working together is an important form of witness. Also, as has been said, many people in the community who do not come to our services still think of the clergy as being their pastors and the Church as being a reassuring presence, a resource in time of need. In return we feel a need to be involved with the community, to serve it in all the ways we can. (Ian Courtis/chairman)
RESPONSE FROM A MEMBER OF THE CONGRETATION:
Caring in the Parish. Meeting of 27-9-12 David Bell writes to say: ” I’m really sorry that I was unable to attend this meeting, but as an outsider the overall impression is that it could be interpreted as a talking shop. Some excellent suggestions but not many practical applications.
Whatever is undertaken, I submit that the execution of changes must involve more than just a few volunteers. Personally speaking, I’m happy to concentrate on the visiting aspect but it will call for more than just half a dozen people. The Pastoral Care group seems to need more structuring… but be warned, we septuagenarians are work horses not race horses! ”
David also adds: 1. Good ideas about the Parish Church at the meeting i.e. making it more habitable. How about a rota for keeping it open? 2. Yes to the idea of developing St Anne’s. 3. Yes to the idea of employing a youth worker: ‘It will cost both in equipment and salaries… worth it!’ 4. The Methodists are to be commended for showing us the way forward. 5. Yes to the idea of the clergy being freed up by the laity in taking over visits to the elderly and house bound.
Note of Way Ahead Group meeting on 25.10.12
Present: Rector, Robert Oakes, Caroline Lake, Spencer Wearne, Ian Courtis, Peter Bonsey
1. The job description of a priest in a parish was discussed at some length: what are clergy for? Common assumptions, expectations etc. A job description for a parish priest in Scotland was discussed: realistic or managerial?
2. This led into the pressures of expectation and its affect on the clergy. Role of leadership, etc. In various types of congregations and parishes.
3. “Delegate or die!” one response to the unrealistic demands of parish life.
4 .Discussion on particular aspects of our particular parish life in the two benefices.
a) .service patterns, provision of alternative non eucharistic worship, pastoral care etc.
b). Lay led services, eg Service of the Word c) Specific to Calstock parish: (i) need for communication re: service times and patterns (ii) cell church pattern: three based on our church buildings – (no plans as yet for closure). (iii) In January start new pattern of 9.15 HC at Parish Church 10.30 HC alternating with Service of the Word at Gunnislake and Harrowbarrow. 6.30 Evensong to continue at Calstock but may well be lay led with a meditation or reading a passage etc.
5. Service cards discussed to give ease of use.
6. The pastoral and spiritual leadership of the clergy emphasised.
7. Resolved: Rector to write letter explaining format of 2013 services and giving example of Service of Word.
Additional comment from Group member:
The Rector’s minute above gives no sense of the exhaustion and tiredness of both the clergy. It was very clear to everyone present that both clergy were being pressed far beyond their capacity both by the expectations of some, at least, of their parishioners, and indeed their own expectations of themselves. Not so long ago the seven churches and two chapels would have had a vicar each. Until the recent retirements there were four clergy covering the area. In the past month there had been a death, and therefore a funeral to prepare for and take, in effect every other day. Quite apart, of course, from the normal run of services. To say nothing of 9 carol services to fit in shortly before Christmas.
It was quite clear that there are only two options.
Option 1 is to do what the Roman Catholics do, which is ruthlessly to close churches which cannot be supported properly and re-group to larger centres. Realistically this would mean closing all but two of the 7 churches, and continuing with the old pattern out of those churches.
Option 2 is to insist that the Church of England should have a local presence in every community, in which case necessarily a lot of the work and the taking of services would have to be done by the Laity, simply because it would be impossible for it to be done by the ordained clergy. In effect there would be ‘house churches’ in each community, though still operating out of a communal building.
Of these two options, the second is by far the better but it will be down to the Laity to do the day to day running of the local church, and the taking of most of the non-Eucharistic services. Having said that however, whilst a lot of decisions would be taken by Laity rather than Clergy, it is nevertheless essential that the Rector should at all time be kept in touch with what was happening, and also that services taken by Laity should be shared round amongst the Laity rather than becoming ‘X’s service’.
Notes on The Way Ahead meeting held on 22.11.12
The buildings, money & other physical assets we have been given
Church Closures: yes or no? We discussed whether it was feasible to close any of our churches as congregations are falling.
It is not possible to close the Parish Church; Gunnislake Church does not lend itself to another use; Harrowbarrow is the most straightforward building to update and turn into a more comfortable building for a range of different services.
The cost implications of closures were considered (insurance, maintenance etc if unsold). It would be a huge step to consider any closures but this is not ruled out for the long term future.
Towards a more effective use of retained buildings
Parish Church: Cannot make many changes to this grade 1 listed building but could benefit from toilet and somewhere to serve refreshments; could make a warm comfortable area within the Church – perhaps in space behind Clergy pews. Provision of water within the Church was seen as ‘a must’.
Harrowbarrow: Church could be made more intimate by replacing pews with chairs and providing carpet; providing a toilet would be a significant improvement.
Gunnislake: Not much can be done to change the interior of the Church although some pews could be replaced with chairs. The Church and/or hall could be opened up for community use using volunteers to man this. The hall could be improved by modernising the toilets ; carpeting/comfortable chairs could make the building much more suitable for a range of Church and community uses; putting in a second floor to give access at the same level as the Church could again be considered.
We looked at the proposed budgets and discussed how to improve the gap between income and expenditure. Other than not paying the common fund, there are very few ways of reducing expenditure which means we have to increase income to balance the books.
Discussed possibility of different fundraising ideas but as we are a stewardship parish, is it appropriate to ask congregation for more? Fundraising would also involve the wider community in support the Church.
Discussed the availability of our investments – might it be possible to use some of our trust funds for specific improvement projects? Could we achieve better returns on our investments?
Agreed that encouraging legacies would be helpful. In recent years we have been using investments to ‘plug the gap’ but thought we should spend the money we have to make needed improvements while it is still available. Doing nothing is not an option! Numbers are everything.
We noted the reduce attendances over our prolonged period of Together at Ten services. To maintain this Parish we need to increase our congregation. This could be done by having more special services and making more of the services we do have – this has been discussed at previous Way Ahead meetings. Some services should be less formal and perhaps be more stimulating to encourage others to join in. The Services of Word which will take place in the new year may help this. Need to use publicity and advertising (noticeboards, posters, leaflets etc)
Establish which of our investments we are able to utilize.
Representatives from each of the 3 Churches to come up with a rough estimate of the costs of the improvements which we would like.
All members of the group to anonymously pass their own conclusions from the Way Ahead meetings to Caroline L by 10.1.13 who will collate them for the meeting on 18.1.13 (this will include the costs of suggested improvements).
The Way Ahead – Summary of Reflections (by Caroline Lake)
I have received reflections from 7 members of the Way Ahead Group, each outlining what they see as the priorities for the future. I started this summary by combining these into 1 document with a single typeface/size. These are identified as Reflections 1 – 7. I then printed out these reflections and chopped them up so I could put all thoughts on the same aspect together. I was then able to summarise the thoughts under a range of aspects, some of which had been reflected on by all of us, and others by just one or two.
The categories I identified are as follows:
1.“WHY ARE WE DISCUSSING THIS AND HOW CAN WE MOVE FORWARD?
It was suggested at the last APCM that it would make financial sense to amalgamate services and dispose of redundant buildings. The Way Ahead Group was formed to discuss this and to demonstrate that various options had been seriously considered. All agreed that doing nothing is not an option. ” The majority felt that now is not the time to close Churches and agreed that as it costs virtually as much to maintain an unused building as one which is used, savings would only be made by selling off a building. Calstock cannot realistically be sold off, Gunnislake would be difficult to use for other purposes (and is the only Church that most walk to) and Harrowbarrow would be the easiest to update. However, there was also one view to close Harrowbarrow and one view that we should close Gunnislake once we have updated the hall. ” There was also the view that we only need one space large enough for the whole parish to gather. ” There would appear to be a general consensus to use some of our financial assets in updating the buildings we have with a hope of attracting a larger congregation to more comfortable Churches. If we do nothing, the financial situation will still be problems and nothing will change.
2. WORSHIP – CURRENT SERVICE PATTERNS AND FUTURE SERVICES
Everyone gave their views on forms and times of worship.” There was a general approval for the new service pattern for 2013 which allows for a wider variation in types of service, frees up the clergy by allowing the laity to take some services and allows a consistent time for services at each Church. This consistency should help current congregations and non-communion services may attract others who are not at ease with communion services. Other more inclusive/less formal services would benefit from more flexible seating patterns and could be led by lay people. Consistency of service times is very important – we lost many over the last few months.Special services (eg schools, harvest, marriage vow renewal, local ‘civic’ services, pet services) should be put on. It was suggested that time could be used on a Sunday morning for fellowship with each other, or even going away for a day/weekend together. Some of our congregations find it hard to get to services – there was a suggestion that we have someone to co-ordinate lifts. It was noted that the Bishop is currently against Communion by extension, but it may need to be considered in the future.
3. BEST USE OF CLERGY AND LAITY
It was agreed that the laity are going to have to play a far larger role in the parish to prevent the clergy from becoming even more overworked and we must not have unrealistic expectations of what the Clergy can do. They should be free to work where they are most needed and for tasks only they can do. ” The clergy must be encouraged to delegate much more and only take on tasks outside of our group of parishes in exceptional circumstances. The laity can be used (training provided it needed) to lead non-Eucharistic worship. The weekday Eucharists will still need a priest as celebrant. The Pastoral Care Group was mentioned by some and although it was agreed that it can play a vital role, it was thought by some to be ineffective at present. The Samaritan model was mentioned – the importance of being able to listen to others. It should be made clear to those volunteering to help in any way that they do not necessarily need to make a long term commitment and could share tasks.
4. MISSION (IN ITS WIDEST SENSE)
It was agreed that our missionary activity is not at prominent as it could be. Many of us find it hard to talk about our faith but perhaps we could write about it (website, Grapevine?) and some might be prepared to speak at services. It was also suggested that edited highlights of sermons could be included in the Grapevine. Those who mentioned it thought that opening the Church at Calstock during the week was a good idea but should have been a Parish wide initiative. Hopefully most of us are able to demonstrate our faith in our day to day lives, but as a Church we could become more involved in the needs of the local area eg food bank, local schools, lifts to Church (and other places?) . We could invite ‘outsiders’ to social events.
5. PUBLICITY, COMMUNICATION AND ATTRACTING NEW CHURCH MEMBERS
It was agreed by all that communication is something that we fail at and needs improving asap. We need good noticeboards (banners were also suggested) as well as posters, leaflets, publicity for web-site etc. These should advertise service times and other events. We also need much better informal verbal communication – we cannot assume that people know what is going on. Photos and information about PCC members and other parishioners could be included on web-site or notice boards which may help us get to know each other better. We should make more use of time on Sunday mornings to get to know each other better and talk about what is going on – could this be included into the Service of the Word? New members could be attracted through events such as Alpha courses (or similar), Sunday school/youth activities or a range of special services – these would need to be publicised effectively. Better communication in respect of those on the prayer line was mentioned but there are confidentiality issues.
We have consistently run at a deficit and our capital reserves are reducing. We do not want to spend all our reserves and have nothing to show for it. There was general agreement to spending money on making our buildings more comfortable.” Those who mentioned it were uncomfortable with the amount we pay to the diocese and felt we should seriously question this. Suggested that we give more thought to encouraging parishioners to review their giving and consider legacies.” Suggestion of opening a Development Trust and also a Friends of St Andrews (and possibly St Anne’s & All Saints). Although we are a stewardship parish, we could fundraise for specific projects or contribute any profits from social events. ” Should investigate the terms of the trust deeds of the permanent endowment and other funds.
7. WORKING WITH OTHER CHURCHES
All those who mentioned this were very keen for us to work with Tamar Valley Methodist Church so we can share ideas and learn from each other.
8. WHAT WE SHOULD DO WITH OUR BUILDINGS
With the exception of the views that we should sell Harrowbarrow or Gunnislake, it was generally agreed that Harrowbarrow would be the easiest to adapt for a range of purposes, followed by the Church Hall, then Gunnislake Church followed by Calstock as the least able to be adapted.
a. What should we do at Calstock Church?
Water supply and a toilet should be provided although this is likely to be costly in both time and finance.
b. What should we do at Gunnislake Church?
There was disagreement about what should be done at Gunnislake Church ranging from a total overhaul to selling it for residential purposes. There was support for keeping the pews in place. There was one suggestion that as it is in a good position on the main road it could be developed by splitting it into 2 halves – one half to remain as a Church and the other end split up for a range of uses. One of the main issues at Gunnislake is the heating – suggestions of air or ground source heating or solar panels (to heat the church and the hall)
c. What should we do at Gunnislake Church Hall?
Three people supported the view that a second floor should be put in (level with the Church entrance) which should be carpeted and provided with comfortable chairs and good heating. The toilets and the kitchen should be updated (either on the ground floor or first floor) There was one suggestion that this comfortable area should be used for all services (rendering the Church surplus to requirements – and sold for conversion to residential) and one suggestion that it be used for some services, especially in the winter. Suggestions for the ground floor include space to rent, parish office, toilets/kitchen (if not upstairs) or converted into an apartment. If this second floor was constructed, an entrance could then be made at the same level as the Church and good use could be made of the flat area between the hall and the door. There is one suggestion to improve the road access, but ground levels make this very difficult.
d. What should we do at Harrowbarrow Church?
There was general agreement that works to Harrowbarrow should take preference (the view that it should be disposed of has already been mentioned).” It would make an ideal venue for worship, prayer/bible study groups, parish days and for use by the community (perhaps if the village hall is too big). The main suggestions are: carpeting, comfy chairs, toilet facilities and possibly kitchen facilities. Toilet could be: compost, separate structure, toilet in vestry, conversion of scout store or long- term Portaloo contract. Updating the lighting and heating could be considered (eg lower lights make bulb changing easier, photo-voltaic cells to offset oil costs). There are also suggestions for a Quiet Garden and a woodburner. The pews could be sold to offset some of the costs. Grants could be investigated.
Approximate costings for these suggestions
ALL CHURCHES �….
�…. Water supply/drainage for sink/washbasin WC within the Church WC adjacent to Church
GUNNISLAKE CHURCH �…. Alternative heating system
GUNNISLAKE HALL �….. Put in second floor with internal staircase, Rebuild toilets in present position Relocate toilets on 1st floor Relocate toilets on ground floor Fit kitchen area to 1st floor Entrance at 1st floor level Carpeting Comfy chairs Flat outside area lift
HARROWBARROW Carpeting £5000 70 chairs @ �50 3500
£…..Compost toilet/ Toilet in separate building /Toilet within vestry Conversion of scout store to toilet. Long term contract with portaloo Kitchen facilities Gravel outside