Starting from scratch again!

Author: The Revd Phil Rodd

Published on: 8 March 2022

Here at St Andrew’s Eaton (in Norwich), we’d had several attempts at having a church away day, postponed each time by the pandemic.

Like many churches, we weren’t in a particularly good place. We’d had twelve years of steady growth, but now it seemed that all that growth had been wiped out by the pandemic. And I, for one, was feeling quite dispirited.

Since before the first lockdown, I’d been in touch with the Revd Tim Yau about leading our away day. Tim is one of the diocesan Mission Enablers, and a near neighbour of ours, so he understood perfectly our “quiet suburban” context. We met several times. He was great: rooted in the Word, seeing possibilities everywhere, and brimming with ideas.

Tim led the day itself brilliantly. He was confident without being “showy”, giving us all the confidence to share our own ideas, as we began to tease out what the future might be for us here in Eaton.

There was some sadness at the things we discovered we’d lost as a church; but that sadness was lessened by realising that some of these things could be allowed to go permanently. Best of all, though, was identifying those things that we wanted to keep – such as the mixed economy of in-person and IT-supported services (and other meetings) – and an increased awareness of a wider community, in Eaton and beyond, that might yet indicate an exciting future, and growth that could go beyond the mere counting of numbers!

The author...

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The Revd Phil Rodd

Licensed clergy - Incumbent: Vicar, Eaton St Andrew (Norwich) (Benefice)

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