An important step forward

Sadly, I never got round to posting about the Sunday, but I do remember it was busy, productive cafe church service and it was great to see folk at St Michael’s talking so freely about their faith. We hope this will be just the start of this style of service developing over the next few months.

In any case it is clearly a time of new beginnings and new opportunities for the church. That is why over the past month I have been circulating some questions around the congregation, and I have been encouraged both by the number of people who have answered and the way they have thought about their responses.

How should the new St Michael’s be used?

How do you see St Michael’s growing over the coming year?

How well does St Michael’s support you in your daily life?

What do you think the Lord is saying to St Michael’s at this time?

Do you have any other comments about St Michael’s?

We considered all the responses at the PCC meeting last Wednesday evening. It quickly became apparent we couldn’t cover all the questions in one meeting, so we just concentrated on the first question. After an hour of discussion where we shared a wide variety of views, we came to the unanimous resolution that “the PCC sees St Michael’s primarily as a place of prayer and worship and looks to serve the local community with groups that have a Christian ethos and leadership”.

This apparently simple statement is, I believe, a huge step forward for the life of the church as it clarifies the principles which will underpin our use of the building. We had in the old building a model of community engagement where the community space was simply given to the local community and they used it as they saw fit (subject to certain safeguards). By moving away from this model we have affirmed our distinctive Christian identity and made a huge leap of faith. We don’t yet have large numbers of believers to lead community groups, and it will be a challenge at times to retain our Christian ethos.

But we have made a start. In the New Year we are launching a Baby and Toddler Group on a Tuesday morning for the local area, and we have a couple of experienced childcare professionals from other churches who will run it. I am sure we are at the beginning of something exciting, and I am looking forward to what the Lord will do next…

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