Parish Vision Process
Since 2008, we have been working on a Parish Vision Process, seeking to move forward in our parish and to grow in faith together for the future.
We identified six areas of our Christian life to focus on. These have shaped our thinking and we have been working on them through our joint PCC.
Learning about the Bible
We focus on one area at a time and work on it until we get to a good point to move on.
We held a Lent course on the theme of Prayer.
A lay led prayer group was started, and some members were trained to accompany others in prayer.
One of our churches, Holy Trinity, Low Row, linked up with the Small Pilgrim Places Network - http://www.smallpilgrimplaces.org/ - and has been developed as a place of prayer and hospitality.
Each church has developed lay led intercessions in Sunday services.
The PCC was introduced to Cursillo as another way into a personal prayer life.
A group of people in the parish planned and led two day retreats.
Learning more about the Bible
We held a series of Lent Meetings on the theme
Holy Trinity Church in Ripon gave us a generous gift of pew bibles for all the churches
We held workshops on How to read the Bible in Church
The prayer group learned to do Lectio Divina and shared that with others
Growing our Christian Discipleship
As a basis for this we used the themes of The Radical Disciple by John Stott. Our work on this included:
1. A Stewardship Project, thinking about the gifts and talents that we have to offer, as well as our money and other resources. This was done as a Lent project, with themed sermons and a booklet of information and spiritual resources.
2. Living Well and Dying Well – Encouraging people to think in a Christian way about dying and issues around the end of life, and the practicalities of planning one’s funeral. A Planning your Funeral booklet was distributed through the churches and the doctor’s waiting room, and we printed hundreds!
3. Creation Care
A Lent Course encouraged us to think about Christian responsibility for God’s world.
We heard from A Rocha, a Christian environmental organisation that works around the world.
The Conservation group at Grinton Church came through this work and later participation in a Mission Shaped Introduction course
Our old Communion booklets were replaced with Common Worship booklets for each church.
2013 saw the introduction of a new hymn book across the parish – Hymns Ancient and Modern, Hymns for Refreshing Worship
With the new book, we started Come and Sing sessions every 3-4 months, teaching newer and unfamiliar hymns and encouraging people to sing confidently.
A group is planning some Taize style services in the parish.
A Connections Group met monthly for six months and revised all our parish communications. All booklets, newsletters and orders of service now have a common logo, typestyle, paper quality, layout and large print versions
An ongoing project…This is not a list that we have ticked off and ‘done’…many of these things have become incorporated into the ongoing life of the parish. There is plenty more to work on, and this is how far we have got