Plans for the future

Plans for the future

This is a ministry for everyone – ‘each according to your means’ 2 Cor 8:11

The 2017 Mission Action Plan tries to summarise the sort of church we are aiming to be:
1. “God is good, all the time” At the centre of our life together is our worship. There are opportunities to worship in a variety of styles; everyone (of all ages) is welcomed and included.
2. “Everyone matters” St James is a family. We nurture the young and the young-in-faith, and each of us is always learning and growing. We care for one another - from experiencing an initial welcome as a newcomer, to being encouraged to play a full part as an established member of the family. We support one another as we can.
3. “Not a cruise ship but a lifeboat”
We are outward-looking. We have identified our neighbours’ needs and are offering our time and putting our gifts into action. We serve as individuals, and together as a church.

This is our vision of the church we believe is God is calling us to be - and will be the measure of our ‘success’ in the years to come.

Within that broader perspective we have developed some more immediate goals - our action plan. Here are some of them:
● draft a year’s programme of social events - some for everyone, some for adults, some for families
● seize the opportunities to use our building midweek - now we have toilets
● take further action to improve our welcome to visitors and newcomers
● strengthen links with local organisations including the schools
● recruit a Children and Families’ Work Leader
● arrange learning events or short series for discipleship on Thursday evenings
● create a team to plan St James’s Day, when the Bishop of Kensington visits (this was a very successful day - see the photo album)

But the first of our initiatives was the launch, after Easter, of ‘Together at Eleven' a service created to meet especially the needs of families, but welcoming everyone.

A group looked into new branding to update our image with the public and help us reach more people. A fresh new logo, incorporating the landmark profile of the spire, was chosen by the PCC. The fluid style speaks of life and movement; there is also a cross and the colour version incorporates a ‘stained glass’ pattern - another feature of the building. Colour, text fonts and page layouts were included in this update and at the same time the magazine and the website underwent redesigns to incorporate them. 

Two toilets, one suitable for wheelchair users and with baby changing facilities, have now been built in the west porch, opposite the parish office. This now makes it easier to use the church independently of the hall. Other improvements to the church include new west porch doors, a sink and power sockets in the vestry, further power sockets in the north and south aisle, and extra storage cupboards in the hall and the children’s area, where there are also new tables. See the photo album Church improvements.

The next project was to take down and repair the clock dials. The work will be carried out in September and October, during which the tower will be shrouded in scaffolding. Once this work is complete we can re-plant and landscape the garden and position a new bench by the south porch. We will also be getting new noticeboards. 

There are many more of these initiatives in our Mission Action Plan: some immediate, some for the coming year, and some for ‘one day.’ It is encouraging to know that Google considers that is doing well if it hits 60-70% of its ‘stretch goals'. In fact I think Christian people should have goals that are a bit beyond what we can do ourselves - otherwise we are factoring God out!

So St James’s has a vision and a plan. Now with prayer, we let’s move forward!

Read the leaflet Giving in Grace.