pMAP preparation day


On Saturday 23rd February 2019 the Itchen Valley Parish PCC (and nominated Church Wardens) and the leaders of our different ministries in the Parish met at Old Alresford Place to look at how we might grow as a parish under the theme ‘churches that intend to grow, tend to grow’.

We used the very useful materials from the Church of England Anecdote to Evidence research on growing churches.

The research paper makes clear that church growth means

-church members growing in spiritual depth

-an increased number of people attending

-a growth in our engagement in transforming society

We need to be a growing church, if we want to be a church at all in the future in this Valley.  But how do we grow, particularly when we are losing a significant number of our congregation each year to death or moving away?

Gerry Stacey gave a presentation on growth in the Valley both demographic growth as compared with church growth.

The Church of England’s survey has concluded that there are eight characteristics which growing churches have.  Interestingly, growth does not appear to relate to churchmanship, (to particular types of worship) and so we will be continuing our dual focus on modern and traditional worship, as agreed when I was appointed.

The eight factors are as follows:

  • a clear mission and purpose
  • innovating envisioning and motivating
  • actively engaging with local context
  • lay people as well as clergy in leadership
  • willing to change and adapt
  • engaging with children and young people
  • welcoming culture
  • nurturing disciples

We looked at each of these areas by groups with some speed discussion, scoring ourselves in these fields and came up with some good suggestions on how we might improve in each.

Then the leaders of our various ministries gave short presentations followed by questions about their areas of ministry as follows:

Little Rainbows/Toddlers                       Julia Wright

Children/Ark                                                Tim Clapp

Wednesday Night Worship                    Julia Wright

Parenting and Marriage etc.                 Julia Wright

Band                                                               David Parker

School/Open the Book                            Sonia Cragg/[Alex Pease]

Teenagers/UTX                                         Kelly Gibson/[Alex Pease]

Valley Visitors                                            Lavinia Owen

CAMEO                                                         Lavinia Owen

Home Groups                                              Beccy Clark, Theo Mezger, Lucy Pease, John Bouldin/[Alex Pease]

Fund raising as welcome                      Rolls Coleman

Alpha                                                            Lucy Pease

Discipleship                                                 Alex Pease

Transforming society                              Theo Mezger (Street Pastors), Naomi Ellis (Sycamore Tree Course at HMP Winchester), Gerry Stacey (Nightshelter)

I will study the results of our discussions and put together a first draft of our proposed pMAP for our PCC.  Thank you so much to all of you for attending and for your contribution to a very useful meeting.

Alex Pease                                                                                   

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