Vision and Mission
Vision and Action
Our overall vision: To put down strong roots into the soil of the grace of God in Jesus, to flourish by means of the Word of God, and the power of the Holy Spirit. To offer extensive branches in spreading the love of God through evangelism, social interaction, and community engagement.Jeremiah 17 v.8: ‘He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.’
Our inner vitality
- Prayer. Prayer teams are available at each morning service at Buckland. Refreshing and maintaining prayer ministry remains a priority. The prayer chain is an important daily resource and strength. The men’s early morning prayer group meets in the school each week, on Thursdays at 7am. A leaders’ prayer gathering takes place at Archy and Snoo’s on a twice monthly basis. More concentrated prayer becomes a key focus between Ascension and Pentecost. This aims to draw in many, praying in church, and in homes, and covering particular themes.
- Recovering our reserves. God has graciously provided replenished resources, and this has enabled us to build up our reserves in compliance with the Charity Commissioners. The project emphasis for this current year, 2018, is the refurbishment of our church organ at the cost of £30000. In addition, major quinquennial repairs have taken place at Holy Spirit, Milton Combe, costing £25000. Rumbi Mukono has now taken up the responsibility of being our church treasurer. Rob Hubble looks after Gift Aid payments, and submissions to the tax authority. A finance team, headed up by Bob Barnes, meets regularly
- Strong community within the church family, encompassing all ages. Home groups, Lent programme, social gatherings. Home Groups continue to be well attended. New home groups have begun, with Pippa and Angela; also with Andy and Debbie Farmer. Parish Camp continues to engender strong friendships, with an opportunity to invite new members of the church family, and those who would be without a holiday opportunity.
- Effective communication and use of technology. A communications team is now in place. Mark Woock has become the editor of Outreach, with help from Denise Hume, and this is being produced on a two monthly basis. AS part of improving communication within the church building intention this year is to re-carpet the south porch, and ensure that sound from services is effectively being received there. Later we hope to be able to provide a video link to this porch also so that those within the creche can be included within the services.
Our outward purpose
- Maintaining children’s, and youth ministry with volunteer help. Establishing better links with the school. Youth Church and The Net have continued through the year with visits to Catalyst events. Youth Emmaus has drawn together a strong group of young people on a regular basis. Reuben Crossley, Jane Oliver and Denise Nixon have overseen this Sunday morning programme. Graham takes weekly assemblies in school. A children’s choir participated in the Christmas Carol service. Hannah Waine, Heather Keane, Hellen Williams and Deborah Corness have taken forward children’s weekly ministry in a very creative way. A crèche team is being put in place. We are looking to appoint a part-time youth worker to take our young people’s work forward, in the light of Reuben’s ordination in the Autumn.
- Pressing ahead with church renovations, Work has now been completed on the Chancel and the Drake Chapel. The south porch doors have been hung, and the south porch turned into a crèche area with effective heating. New wireless microphones have been purchased. The electrics have been updated to comply with NIECC Regulations. Minor improvements to the uplighters, and ceiling entrance lights will take place during 2018. and some feature lighting will be introduced as part of the organ renovations.
- Strengthening our giving, overseas, the school, and Buckland Chapel. We have increased our annual giving to the school and chapel to £5000 each. In addition voluntary giving over Christmas raised £1800 approx. for MAF in support of our mission partners, Matt and Becki. Financial support for Reuben’s ministry training has been fully met with income given and pledges received for the full 3 years. Tristan Coulshaw is completing his training at All Nations Bible College, and Sophie Whitefield is engaged in a year’s discipleship programme with Operation Mobilisation in France. Giving needs to be considered to both.
- Community engagement and evangelism. Utilising more fully the potential of Buckland Chapel. This is a continuing desire. Improvements to the décor have continued. The trustees, members, and PCC are looking into a future strategy for the chapel, to maximise its potential. Messy Church has continued to see high numbers attending. A messy café is a new initiative to build relationship with parents who attend. The Lent course, Life Balance, attracts many. Due to higher numbers the harvest supper has moved over to the school. The Milton Combe piano recital will again take place in June 2018. The pastoral care team is taking forward initiatives: welcome suppers, a cream tea, gift bags for newcomers, emergency meals, and cards for the unwell and bereaved. The pastoral care team is in need of new members, in that Portia Crossley is leaving at the end of June. Ministry to those in their twilight years continues through monthly services at HartCare and Pilcher’s Field. Evangelistic initiatives, and how best to pursue these, remains a critical matter for us as a church family.
Readers from St Andrew’s have been supporting other parishes north of the Deanery.