One of my aims for 2019 was to blog more. I’m trying to write something about once a week, knowing that realistically it’s more likely to be once a fortnight!
I’d like to talk more about what’s actually going on in life and ministry, but the problem is that sometimes my week is so admin heavy. Last week was one of those weeks. It was a week full of emails, spreadsheets and organising- and with good reason!
So, for a bit of context.
Wind the clock back 2 and a bit years, and I was on the common room committee at Cranmer Hall.
It was one of those grumbly days in Vicar School when they told us that we were all expected to spend a weekend helping local churches reach out into their communities.
‘But that’s essay deadline weekend!’
‘But we want to go to our placement churches that weekend!’
‘But haven’t we got enough to do?!’
Then the message came loud and clear from the powers that be: are you meaning to say that you don’t want to go and help churches tell their communities about God?
No, of course not.
We were well and truly put in our place, reminded that there are more important things in the world than essays and we went out of the college bubble into the real world for the weekend.
Myself, Nathan and a few others were placed in South Shields, along with a group from the church that I now work in, including my boss & Bishop!
The idea was that the Bishops in the North of England would take it in turns to put on loads of outreach events in their area and that all the other Bishops would come and help, bringing teams of people with them. So the area of South Shields in Durham Diocese hosted the team from Liverpool Diocese and their Bishop. This team included some trainee vicars, which is where I fit in!
We went to loads of things, chatting to the local people and giving talks at various events. I went to a pancake party at a youth club, was quizzed on philosophy & religion by teenagers at a high school, gave a 20 minute talk about faith at a women’s breakfast, did an assembly with Nathan dressed as Jesus (see picture below!) and delivered leaflets on an estate, just to name a few!
It was an action packed weekend where I not only got to know some Formby folk, but I was also able to go and share something of my faith with people in a completely different setting.
During this weekend we found out that in March 2019 it would be Liverpool’s turn to host a mission and to have teams from across the North of the country to stay. It seemed like an age away, but I was excited by the prospect of being involved in a mission from a different perspective. This time I would be a local person planning events rather than a member of the visiting team.
Well, very soon it will be March 2019 and the time has flown by!
Each small area within the diocese (Deanery) needed someone to gather the info from the local churches together, work out who needs to be where & when, and encourage people to get involved. As I’d been on a mission before, it was suggested that I take on this role. It’s been really exciting to see how creative people are being about reaching out into their communities, but it’s also been a bit tough logistically, even for the Queen of the Spreadsheet!
But nevertheless, the spreadsheet is bursting at the seams, the events are being publicised and a lovely team of people from Sheffield will be arriving in Sefton North Deanery on 7th March.
There’s a whole load of stuff going on; three ladies nights, a brewery tour, ‘Blessings To Go’, a men’s breakfast, a Girl Guiding event, a beach comb, Messy Church, several coffee mornings and even a ‘Humans Vs Zombies’ youth night in a georgian church!
It’s going to be great and I’m really looking forward to seeing our churches reach out into their towns and villages, even if it does mean a few admin heavy weeks for me.
So that’s it! A blog about all things mission will inevitably follow mid-March some time.
If you’re local (or even if you’re not and fancy a jaunt to Merseyside!) keep your eyes peeled for all the things that are going on (or just message me!). You’ll be most welcome, especially if you bring a friend with you!
Inviting someone is super easy: Its going to be great, I’m going, do you want to come too?
See you there?