An opportunity to build anew
"Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity" - Colossians 4:5.
At present it is very hard to look forward with optimism; with concerns about new waves of virus, having to wear face masks, and a lack of resources, it is easy to become depressed about the future and our churches. Coming out of lockdown and looking to the future, we do have an unprecedented opportunity to build a stronger relationship between the Church and the wider community. Like other organisations across the country we should now be planning for a better future by taking advantage of what we have learnt over recent months. Parishes really can make a new start and not just simply talk about it. But it is up to all of us.
During lockdown individuals and groups across all communities (many not church-goers) stepped up to support the needy, demonstrating the principles of Christianity through their actions. PCCs should build on this goodwill and the opportunity for change for the better and engage with these individuals, community groups and leaders and establish how we can create a better world? How can we build on and support these achievements rather than letting it fade from the memory as ‘normal’ life resumes? What can the church, the PCC and the congregation do to help this? Instead of asking how can the country help us, it is down to us to help others.
The answer will of course be different in every parish. How can our church community support children and young people? How can we do more for the lonely and isolated? Can we organise a visit roster? Can we have a lunch club for the elderly? Which of our facilities can be utilised for the benefit of the whole community? Can the church building be used for play groups? Is there a church room/meeting room that can be used by volunteers? Can the church be used differently? Are there different forms of services that the community would like? Can we share the church’s internet? Can we organise trips to the supermarket and doctor or simply help people buy what they need? What would
be possible for your parish?
This is not just down to members of the PCC or the church. Lockdown revealed a large reservoir of kindness and compassion that can be harnessed. But it does need a catalyst and the PCC can play a key role in your community to be a beacon of light and leadership.
Can we make everyone feel welcome into our church – however they come and whatever they come for? The more people that come and use the church, the stronger in time the church will become. We need to explain to everyone living in the parish that, “This is your church (not the PCC’s church) and how can we all work together to make a difference for all of us and our children now and for the next 100 years?”
As we go into autumn and start to plan for Christmas how can we make this year transformational? If we don’t seize this opportunity now, we will lose the opportunity of a lifetime.
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Articles in this issue...
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever Hebrews 13:8
I had the privilege of leading the drive-in Songs of Praise at the Norfolk ShowgroundMore
Thorpe St Andrew celebrate the summer
Like many parishes Thorpe St Andrew has enjoyed online worship and fellowship during the lockdown, through Zoom and Facebook, but after returning to worship in church in July, they wanted to do something to celebrate the summer which was safe, but face to face.More
Tap and grab
In the parish of Mundesley, the PCC explored the issue of giving in services across their two congregations as we’ve always struggled and often sought additional fundraising to bridge the gap.More
Experiment pays off
How can a church future proof its giving? Well, it’s a journey, and it’s one we’re still on but these are some of the steps we – as a market town parish church - have taken so far.More
Supporting the church, supporting community
When lockdown began our first thoughts were how we could meet the pastoral needs of the church and wider community and provide worship. We soon had systems in place to keep the church running while our buildings were closed.More
Be prepared for Christmas in a variety of ways
It seems a lifetime ago when I penned the article for PCC News last year, encouraging churches to hold services and events in a variety of ways so that communities could find God in different places.More
Filling the Gap
Nationally, up to three million estimated children are at risk of being hungry in the school holidays*, and for some families, the recent season of coronavirus lockdown has brought additional fear, worry and hardship, and left them facing greater adversity than ever before.More
Lunch supplies for families
Here at St Mary’s Church, Watton we have been very busy.More
Looking after Ludham in the Waterside Benefice
“We must do something,” said Dr Christine Wall at the end of a PCC Fund Raising Committee Meeting in Ludham on Tuesday 10 March, as we realised that lockdown was imminent.More
Tweaking in Pakefield
The lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!More