The Parochial Church Council (PCC) has agreed a strategy for church growth and development. The aim is to establish a consensus across the church that informs and underpins all that we do.
Over the last six months a small team have been working to pull together the
various strands of our activity as a church and to identify the common themes
and potential challenges. Building on this, we have created a proposed strategy
for the next three years.
This document summarises where we are today, what we can aim for, some of
the tasks that will take us forward and the financial issues.
It is intended as a discussion document, for sharing and feedback, and will be
the subject of sermons during Lent.
WHAT WE WOULD LIKE YOU TO DO
Please read this document and think about whether you agree with the general
direction, the recommendations and the specific points.
The next step will be to find ways to make this a living thing within our
WHY DO WE NEED A STRATEGY?
Firstly, when we talk about strategy or strategic planning, we mean the setting
of specific objectives and identifying the actions and resources necessary to
bring us to those objectives.
In this way, a strategy will ensure that we have:
- clarity of direction
- cohesion as a group of people
- a shared sense of purpose.
As a result, we will be more effective in what we do.
It does not mean regulation or mind control, indeed it is a way of releasing and
channelling the creativity within individuals and groups. Strategy is something
organic that arises from the shared ambitions and aspirations of all involved.
The Bible tells us ‘to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God’ and Jesus
said ‘I am come to you that you might have life and have it more abundantly’.
Our vision is that, by sharing our faith openly and fully, we shall help others
and each other to find Christ, the One who gives wholeness and healing to the
If we are authentic in our expression of our encounter with Christ, we will be
relevant. We must respond to the hunger for spirituality.
Firstly, we looked at the principles that would underlie this strategy and came
to the following:
- to promote and share our vision and values of pastoral care and worship
- to value and develop the contributions of all church members and ensure
that all our talents are used wisely and well
- to build on what exists
- to be flexible and responsive to new input
- to be welcoming to a larger group of people
- to offer people opportunities to worship in different ways
To offer opportunity to all to encounter Christ and to understand and
respond to the gospel.
We needed to clarify the constituent parts of this and, using a well-established
model, have broken it down as follows:
Our Ambition (the heart-felt medium-term ambition):
To be a thriving, loving focus in the community
Our Scope (what ‘business’ are we in? What are we here for?)
To help people lead a fuller life through the opportunity to experience and
respond to the Gospel and reach a greater understanding of the love of God
Our Values (the principles that guide us)
Generosity of Spirit
Our Style (the way we do what we do):
We have split this between style of worship and personal behaviour
Worship: Linking the sacred and the secular, eucharistic, enquiring,
Personal: Christ-like attractiveness, open to and reflecting God’s presence
Status (the way we want to be perceived)
A welcoming place where people can meet God
Response (how we want people to feel upon contact with us)
I live and see life differently now
Policy (the criteria that we apply to prioritise actions or investments)
Outreach and inclusiveness while valuing existing members
Moving to the practical, the core objectives for the coming three years are:
- To maintain the current congregation and to grow numbers over three years
- To meet all commitments including the funding of a youth worker without
moving into deficit.
- To increase stewardship to cover our objectives
There are several potential challenges to these objectives that we need to be
aware of. Some we can address, others will be a constraint but will not defeat
- national decline in church attendance – secularisation
- marginalisation of Christianity – the Church is no longer pivotal to the social
- change of demographics of our area
- competing ‘good causes’
- time at a premium for many age groups
- Pinner is increasingly a dormitory town
- need to improve connection with certain parts of our community
- need to increase staff available for outreach and development activity
- need to increase the sense of ‘active belonging’ among many of the
- need for stronger promotion of the church, its values, its benefits and
- need to be more aware and improve our welcoming actions and attitudes to
The next thing is to be aware of the different groups of people that we are
communicating with, their priorities and interests.
The following have been identified as primary audiences:
- Regular churchgoers (at least once every two weeks)
- Occasional churchgoers (once a month)
- Lapsed churchgoers
- Christmas and Easter attendees
- Parents of children who attend (choir, junior church, Holiday Club, 1013,
- People who come for baptisms
- People who come for weddings/funerals
- People who receive our ministry eg the bereaved, attendees of the
- People who come to the church for secular events – jazz, music festival, etc
- People who use or visit the church hall
- People who visit the church as a building
- People who live in the parish but do not feel a connection with the church
(PAC Funday, Easter walk)
- Newcomers to the area
Clearly, we cannot concentrate on all of these at the same time, Within these
groups, therefore, certain have been highlighted as priorities, namely:
- Younger couples/parents – need to understand better what we can do to
help them, given their lack of time and level of commitments
- empty nesters – how we can create a fuller sense of belonging for more in
- visitors at baptisms – making them feel welcome and involved
- visitors at occasional services, whether high festivals or weddings/funerals –
welcoming, involving, informing about the church, its values, its activities
and how it can give help and support
- Friends – using their great strength as effectively as possible and looking
with them for opportunities for outreach
- Those parts of our community that do not feel a connection – need to reach
out to them (Grove as a pilot project)
- Teenagers – building on the forums that we already have to create
something that interests and involves them. (How to feed them into the
- Newcomers – prepare a welcome pack and visit, on partnership with the PAC
We are short in two areas. Firstly, clergy. With Ian and now Stuart both on
‘Permission to officiate’ status much falls onto Simon’s shoulders, as our only
full-time priest, at least in the short-term. We will have Elizabeth as our curate
from next June and will need to think carefully about roles and allocation of
Secondly, the group of (early) retired that the church has relied on for years is
no longer available in the numbers needed. Our focus on the ‘empty nesters’
must raise their role in the church to a higher priority.
We should identify and encourage others to help clergy. We must also
remember, however, that this is a voluntary organisation! We must therefore
ensure that the actions to be taken are in line with resource both in quantity
The other key resource is money, of course. All of this activity must have, as its
by-product, healthier finances that ensure a more stable future.
There seem to be three areas of focus for us. Under each we have listed
certain tasks, with suggested lead responsibilities. These are by no means
exhaustive, nor will we achieve all of these things in the short-term and we will
welcome your input in these areas and others.
Members of strategy group: