Over the past few months at St Michael’s we have been actively exploring how best to provide a care and support structure for the congregation. It is one of the joys of the church that we have a wide range of people from a whole variety of backgrounds and from a relatively wide area. But it does mean that sometimes it is hard to keep track of everybody, and to provide ongoing support during the week. So, for example, while we have seen a large number of newcomers since the new church was built, many people seem to have slipped “out the back door” for a whole variety of reasons. If the church really is to grow, we need to make sure that we care effectively for the existing members.
That is why it was so exciting yesterday to commission four members of the congregation as our pastoral care team. The idea behind the team is neither complicated nor particularly original. Rather we have divided the list of church members in four, and each member of the team is responsible for a quarter of the membership. Every church member has the telephone number of their pastoral carer, and the telephone numbers of the other team members, should that person be unavailable.
Over time as the church grows we hope more names will be added to the membership list, and we can also recruit others to the care team. This all fits in very well with the picture of the nest I shared back in March. As our bonds grow stronger, hopefully we are starting to create the conditions for new life.
Overall, it feels like we have taken a major step forward.