The Diocesan Initiative

The United Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway has a strategic intention for growth, launched in 2010 when Bishop Gregor took office.

The strategy is called ‘Growing with God’s Grace in Glasgow and Galloway’, and it involves charges in the Diocese in Mission Action Planning, discerning missional goals for the year ahead and reviewing them annually with the Bishop.

The Diocese has identified 6 strands within which congregations can choose to work, aiming for their desired growth.

These are:

Congregations are not expected to address these strands alone.  They are supported by specially trained Facilitators who accompany them as they seek to discern which of the six fruits they are called to develop in the year ahead.  They can also call upon the help of the seven Development Teams, each of whom offers targeted support for a particular strand of the strategic intention by means of training sessions, advice or educational materials. A Growth Fund is also available to help support stated MAP goals

St Michael and All Angels Work

The MAP group is led at present by Kevin Boak, our Reader.  The members are; Margaret Gilbert, Maggie Sheen, Bob Floyd, Richard Smith, Henry Douglass, and Csaba Barthos, supported by Jill Reynolds from the Diocesan team.  The plans for actions are formulated by the group and te plan agreed with the Vestry before submission to the Diocese for there approval, when the plan is incorporated into the Diocesan Action Plan.

We are in our third year.  Information on accomplishments for years 1 and 2 are shown below this year’s information.

Goals and planned actions – Year 3 – 2018

We are conscious that there are constraints on any major initiatives during the Vacancy and will focus on practical actions to maintain the goals:

    • We want to work on helping make our prayers more meaningful. A course can be completed this year for those  already intercessors. We want to make sure that as many of you as possible are involved.
    • We want to focus more on missional leadership, we have already started in a small way (e.g. the new liturgies).
    • One key event in this will be getting the Missional Leadership team from the Diocese to talk with the Vestry on 5th March about practical actions we can take, and that will feed into our Mission Action Plan.
    • It is difficult in our present circumstances to encourage children and young people: but we are not going to forget them.
      • The Contraflow organisation with whom we have worked to provide young peoples’ services and an Easter vigil have not found it possible to continue these activities with us, but we will follow up on any further opportunity through the year.
      • We want to maintain a conversation with the leaders of Open Spirit worship on how we might revive this activity.
      • The organisations are there – we just need the families and children.
    • We have started and will continue to support the local Helensburgh foodbank.
    • We would like to enthuse the vestry and congregation for things you have shown we can do such as our eco-congregation work.

We have some Outreach Actions planned to support these goals

    • We want to make St Michaels and All Angels more visible, and for us to become more conscious of the role we can and do play in the community.
      • The council has agreed the extra signs, they have promised action soon!
      • We will help put the new noticeboards to good effect – with colourful up to date notices and by adding a new strap line – ‘Sharing Jesus love and peace with everyone’.
      • We will keep your website current; contacting church groups and encouraging the congregation to review the content and provide suggestions. Work is continuing on the design, and ensuring it lines up with Facebook. The Contraflow, Diocese, the Scottish Episcopal Church and other links have been rebuilt.
      • We will work with the publicity group to review options and actions.
      • We will see if we can find a way to engage with seafarers; for example, by opening new dialogues with the Mission to Seamen
      • and renewing our connections with the HM Naval Base Faslane community,  and will send the Messenger to chaplains electronically and follow up on reactions.
    • We will compile a list of local groups who we may be able to better support or who could help us in our mission. We will encourage the congregation to tell us of any groups and contacts to help grow our list.
    • The Hall users have been contacted and we will follow up this year perhaps by offering space to describe their group’s activities on the website.
    • Above all we want to keep the Mission Action Plan alive
      • We will endeavour to translate these plans into action, ongoing consultation and prayer, and will regularly affirm and celebrate God’s gifts and blessings and our responses, culminating in our annual review.
      • We are conscious that there are constraints on any major initiatives during the Vacancy and will focus instead on practical actions to maintain the goals in the plan.
      • finally, we will communicate more widely and regularly what we are doing, so that others may feel included with us in the MAP groups work.

Previous Years MAPping

Year 2 – 2017

From Last Year’s Plan

  • The Easter vigil for young people had been very successful, and associated Sunday evening services appeared to be going well, but were more erratic.
  • New musical settings had been implemented but progress was halted until a new music director had been appointed
  • The church web site had been improved and application for a new external noticeboard made;
  • A-boards at the church doors had been a good innovation
  • Work with the URC continued effectively, and efforts were made with RN Faslane to work together/jointly – this was inhibited by their lack of manpower
  • Getting together with hall user’s groups is in progress,
  • A grant application has been made for the new internal noticeboard.
  • Corporate prayer was needed but had not been totally successful
  • Not everybody had committed to the process, and it had been slow to start and to get moving; but some real commitment towards the end of the year had shown signs of hope.

Goals and accomplishments for Year 2 – 2017

Easter vigil

  • Review what went well and what could be improved from 2016, plan 2017 vigil, publicise vigil to other churches
  • Think about someone to take over when Anne leaves

Be more energetic:

  • Canvas the church for more support – both on the MAPping group and in general.
  • Work more as a group (or part of one) rather than leaving things to those who have a particular enthusiasm for any specific action.
  • Encourage the vestry to work with us to support MAPping.
  • Keep working with the Anglican team at Faslane

Alpha/Ignatian course

  • Explore the possibilities of running an Alpha course next year,
  • investigate getting the Ignatian centre to run a course for us (and other churches)

Intercessions:

  • Ask for additional volunteers to lead intercessions at 1030 Eucharist – in conjunction with Joan Sadden who runs the rota.
  • Arrange for training course to be delivered by Diocesan Worship, Prayer & Spirituality team.

Music

  • Work with the music director to make incremental changes to the music
  • Continue enhanced Evensong services on second Sunday of the month
  • Endeavour to recruit new (young) choir members,
  • Develop use of new settings at main Eucharist

Notice Boards

  • Internal Notice board – Arrange removal of redundant shelves and chest, and installation of board (including sorting and transferring library books)
  • External Notice board – Note offer of payment from congregation, note planning consent also in place

Hall Users

  • Get hall users to use noticeboards, Encourage hall users to engage with church congregation by explaining their activities.

Signs

  • Contact council to ask for improved signage to St.Michael’s in town/on seafront
  • Leaflets to be circulated (eg hotels) and to tourist office.

Accomplishments Year 1 – 2016

Young People, Youth vigil took place overnight on Holy Saturday 2016

  • Attended by 12 young people, Assistance from Scripture Union ‘Contraflow’ project worker, run as ecumenical venture by ‘Contraflow’, experiment to continue
  • Explore with young people what they want from church. This remains ‘work in progress’ because of the small number of children, Range of age groups, Erratic attendance.

Invite hall users to share with us – New notice board being designed to stand in this corner, part of which will describe hall users’ activities, invite hall users to speak to the church congregation about what they do.

Arrange more regular joint services with the local URC

  • Joint services taking place
  • Lay reader also takes occasional services at URC
  • Participated in ecumenical services during Holy Week
  • Hosted one of these services at St. Michael’s
  • Joined with other town churches in Good Friday walk of witness, which ended with an act of worship in Colquhoun Square, also Pentecost open air service in the square.
  • St. Michael’s has been in the lead in rejuvenating regular meetings of church ministers
  • Monthly house communions in Kilcreggan and Cardross are ecumenical.
  • Monthly help in leading Messy Church

Increase our corporate prayer life

  • Bible study groups include time for corporate prayer
  • Thursday evening prayer meeting continues
  • Mothers’ Union hold special topic meetings with local publicity
  • We have held two ‘Songs of Praise’ services, well supported by visitors

Investigate new musical settings for worship – Awaiting appointment of new organist to explore new settings.

Increase our general links with the community and improve recognition of church in the town:

  • Although we are shown on the pictorial map, we are disadvantaged by being located away from the centre.  Ongoing efforts with local council to improve signage to St. Michael’s, Aspiration for one of the open air museum plinths in Colquhoun Square to feature St. Michael’s. Additional permanent notice board where main pedestrian flow will see it, planning permission being sought, finance allocated. Visits to church neighbours with invitation leaflets, personal encounters with people in the street, Church Website has been reinvigorated, Stronger links being sought with naval chaplaincy.