Last Wednesday the two PCCs of Swanage and Studland met under the guiding hand of Ven. Martin Webster, retired archdeacon and facilitator for our discussions. We were also aided in our thoughts by Revd Margaret Williams who gave us a short Bible study, and some guidance on the likely discoveries along the path of our vision evening.
Martin, first of all, asked each of the four churches to produce single words or two (coupled) at the most, that would go towards describing what each church was like. He explained that this was simply to get a flavour of each congregation, and its outlook and way in which its location and nature shaped its mission. As each church’s turn came, so the lists grew and it seemed to achieve the aim, as a light and easy exercise resulted in words of both distinctiveness and common ground between the four churches.
We then moved into our four separate church groups and discussed the ethos of each place in more detail, with the aim of producing a statement encapsulating the vision as we saw it, that was expressed by the way we worked, prayed and worshipped together. After this we had a cup of tea!
Following the break, the two PCCs met together once again and each church reported back to the whole group. Only St Mark’s had put deliberations into a full statement, though All Saints’ have one already. The feedback from St Mary’s and St Nicholas’ demonstrated work in progress and all four churches contributed energy and enthusiasm to the discussion.
It was left that we would work at the statements of vision further over the coming weeks and meet with Martin once again in the New Year to attempt to pull together common views to try a vision statement for the team. Whatever happens, it will be interesting and positive. Thank you to everyone who took part.