St Luke’s: Open PCC Meeting – 4 February 2012

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This morning, congregation members at St Luke’s were invited along to an ‘open PCC meeting’, held in the Parish Centre as a way of reporting back findings from the council’s November ‘away day’, but also to generate thoughts on how to move forward.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE: Coffee and croissants welcomed congregation members to today's Open PCC Meeting. (IMG_2367)

As we walked through the porch door, there was a tremendous smell of coffee and croissants, providing a relaxed start to the meeting. Revd Sally thanked everybody for coming despite the cold and the early start, and gave a brief introduction about the agenda for the rest of the meeting.

IN CONVERSATION: After the refreshments had gone down, all discussed their opinions on the church's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. (IMG_2385)

The basis for the meeting was St Luke’s strengths and weaknesses, as made obvious by a SWOT analysis completed by the PCC recently. Ultimately, it was agreed that while we’re great at charitable giving, leading Sunday Club and Sparklers activities, our ability to rise to a challenge, and our famous hospitality and cream-teas, we don’t necessarily have the most welcoming frontier and – like churches across the nation – have an aging population. This last point was disputed as a ‘weakness’: many argued strongly (and rightly, I think) that actually it can only be a benefit to have people able to come out in the day if needed.

A new ‘governing’ system with vision meetings was unveiled by Sally, with the emphasis on our slogan (In Faith, Out There). Through regular, all-inclusive mission meetings, focus planning groups (covering everything from Liturgy and Nurture, to Outreach, the Fabric, and Children) will be set up and meet simultaneously. Finally, action teams will go out and carry out the decisions as made by these planning groups.

A GREAT IDEA: One congregation member present discusses ideas with two others. (IMG_2390)

In many ways, at first glance, it seems like a rather elaborate (perhaps overly so) plan to reform the structure of St Luke’s planning work. But actually, whilst confusing to understand, I think it may just work. In 2016, we’ll be celebrating our 150th birthday. With the guidance of God and Sally, and the determination for which so many at church are renowned, I look forward to seeing how St Luke’s will rise to the challenge of preparing itself for the next 150 years.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a 21-year-old from Maidenhead in Berkshire. He is now two-thirds of the way through his Journalism Studies degree at the University of Sheffield. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, going to the theatre, and writing about himself in the third-person.