Towards the Next 200 Years

Towards the Next 200 Years!  ~ A Church Workshop - March 2020

Following our very happy and thanks-filled bicentennial celebrations in February, we had determined to follow this up a month later with a 'Church Workshop Morning' to envision the shape our future Mission should take for, if not the next 200 years, then at least the next 20 years.  Some thirty-five members, with a most encouraging spread of ages from 80+ to under one year(!), met on a Saturday morning in March, to consider this challenge.  We were most effectively led by member and Circuit Steward, Tim du Feu and his team of group facilitators, along a well planned path, to yield very positive results.  It was most gratifying to hear a senior member comment at the end of the morning "That was really good.  I'm glad I didn't miss it." and another say: "Where did those four hours go?" as we sat down to yet another sumptuous 'Faith Lunch'. -  St.Martin never travels on an empty stomach!

After reviewing our current "Mission Statement", Tim invited members to consider the changes that had happened in the last thirty years - highlights, triumphs, activities that had run their course and ceased or metamorphosed into new approaches and note them on a Time Line.  This was then projected into the next twenty or so years where we had to consider how continued societal changes would affect the probable shape of our Mission to the community we serve, and with whom we seek to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

The group meet to consider their challenge

Tim sets the scene and leads discussion

Where do we go from here?

The fifty year Time Line - past and future


The next stage led us into a consideration of our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats or SWOT for short.  Groups considered these, with their facilitators noting them on cards to be added to flip chart pages and displayed.  These were done with admirable perception and honesty.


At this point, Tim challenged us to consider activities we might wish to stop doing, activities we should consider to start doing and, indeed, acivities we need to improve doing and develop.  Based on a study that had impressed her, our Minister, the Rev'd Nico Hilmy-Jones, gave us permission to think creatively, radically, 'outside the box'.  Many excellent ideas came from the groups and were again posted on flip charts.

Young and old listen on

Permission to be radical from Rev'd Nico


Finally, as members prepared for a rewarding lunch, they were given up to six votes for their estimation of the most important changes.  This afforded us with a list of priorities for Tim to outline in his report and upon which we can work in future months.





A Final Reward ~  Food!  Thanks to the Kitchen Staff . . . 


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