Last week 6 of us from the Benefice spent 2 days on a course, along with
people from 3 other Multi- Parish Benefices. One vicar there had 10 parishes to
care for! The course was entitled, ‘Thrive’ and was led by the Church Pastoral
Aid Society. We were there, to try to discern and learn how ministry within
our Benefice could be done more efficiently and sustained long term with the
present limitation of staff.
Despite non of our group really having time to attend such a course we all
Thoroughly found it beneficial and discovered that we were of a similar ilk in
our thinking and our personalities, all of us were strongly task orientated and
focussed. Whilst others from the other groups stood around chatting, our
group were eager to get on with the work, pens at the ready. We have now
completed 4 days of what is a 2 year course, with 5 days still to complete.
What, you may be thinking, has any of this got to do with us? A good
The tradition of one parish served by one vicar, is increasingly being consigned
to the history books. We have no choice but to review what we are already
doing and reassess and review in our P.C.C.s what is working and what could
be improved. This may mean that there will need to be some change.
Already traditional parish boundaries in our Benefice are being crossed and
there are some members of our congregations who help other Churches who
struggle and that is good. Jesus said, ‘Be one with each other so that the world
may believe’ We on the course are trying to look beyond parish preferences,
to follow the command of Jesus in the way we minister.
Working over the Benefice will inevitably have some impact upon ministry in
each village. We as Churches can’t stand still as the culture around us changes.
Pentecost, which we celebrated recently was a pivotal event of change and
transformation. We want to thrive here in the Mid- Churnet Valley as we
endeavour to communicate in ways people understand, the Good News of
Jesus said, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.’
Matthew chapter 28 verses 19and 20.
With My Love to you All