Church of England Diocese in Europe

Shaping our future - join the conversation!

What is our vision for our Chaplaincy, our Churches,and our part of the Body of Christ? – an update.

After months of isolation, confinement and 'hanging on' amid the COVID pandemic, we are all emerging into freedom and daring to look around us, starting to hope and plan for the future. This is true of each of us, and it needs to be true for our churches and Chaplaincy. The last seven years without an appointed leader have already been a time of 'hanging on'. So now, our need to feel that we are moving forward from just surviving to actually living is even more important.

After Gratot Committee discussion of the issues it became apparent that maybe the question felt ‘too big' to handle, so why not try approaching the question from a different direction?

Make a list of five things which you think represent 'our church at its best'. Certainly before COVID and maybe even further back. Write this list down.

Now, choose two things from that list which seem no longer possible – maybe because of how life has changed for the world, for the church, for us personally, maybe because our resources no longer allow, or because the key people involved are no longer around to make them happen. They were good, but now we have to 'let them go'.

This should leave you with a list of three things that can still represent 'our church at its best'.

Now, think of two things we aren't doing at the moment, but we ought to be doing, for the sake of our Chaplaincy, for the sake of present and possible future members. Also, How could you help these things to happen? Add this to your list.

At the end of this process you should have a list of five things that in three years time you hope others will recognise as 'our church at its best', and perhaps some ideas as to how we can make this happen.

Please be prepared to share your list, and to discuss why you chose the way you did. The common themes that will emerge from these lists will be important in pointing us to possible ways forward for our Chaplaincy. If you can let Donna have a copy of your list and thoughts, then she can collate them and produce a document for everyone to read and we can discuss in more detail.

The original question is here to remind you also:

What is our hope, our dream, our vision – for our Chaplaincy and its churches now? Has living through the past eighteen difficult months changed how we feel about life, about our faith, about our church and personal priorities? Many of us have experienced a wide range of worship, teaching and fellowship via the internet – has that felt better, or just deepened your longing to attend a service in person? How we now feel about our own church, and the direction we should be taking? What do we believe God wants us to do and be, in this next stage of our life together as part of the body of Christ, his Church, and the Chaplaincy of Christ Church in the Manche?

Members of the Leadership Team have their own thoughts and ideas, but this is an important conversation that all of us need to take part in. Please think, talk – to anybody! - pray, and be ready to share your reflections so they can be discussed at the next Church Council meeting, and beyond.

[If you would like some ideas to get you thinking, a few years ago Fr Chris wrote a leaflet called 'Church: who needs it?' This is all about what the Church means, and what it is for, rather than specifically about our Chaplaincy. The ideals described there might feed into our hopes and prayers for our Chaplaincy now. This leaflet is available to read on our Chaplaincy webpage.

Love and blessings in the name of Christ

Donna 

Leader & Convenor – Christ Church in the Manche