Mission Action Planning is a process to help churches develop a clear strategy for progressing God’s plan and is something that every parish in the diocese is expected to engage in. In a nutshell, a MAP (Mission Action Plan) is a plan for what we intend to do and achieve at St. Cross going forward over the next 3 years. The plan itself is a series of activities, which will enable us to achieve whatever goals we set out to over the next two to three years.
The vicar cannot go away and write a plan for the church and nor can the PCC. A MAP must be the end product of as broad a consultation process as possible
The more people that are involved
The more voices that have been heard
the better... so you- our congregation, our parishioners and members of our community- and your participation are vital to ensuring that this process shapes our church in to one that serves us all in the future!
There are four distinct phases to the MAPlanning process:
There is the PRELIMINARY STAGE: What we might call, DEALING WITH THE PROSPECT OF CHANGE. During this phase, we will start thinking and talking about what being more open to change might mean for our church life. Change is not always easy and it is therefore important to give space to talk though anxieties and concerns any we might have at facing the prospect of change.
There is then the REVIEW phase. During this phase, we will carry out several activities to gain a better understanding of the area that our church is serving. This will involve doing all sorts of things: Getting out into the parish and talking to people; identifying key agencies in the parish where collaboration and the possibility of growing mission to the wider community might be possible; inviting outsiders in to attend our church and give us honest feedback; looking at contextual data about our parish. Understanding the area our church is serving will allow us to tailor our outreach to the needs and opportunities of our parish.
Once we’ve done this we will be in a better position to CREATE A VISION for where we discern God wants us to be in the future. Out of this will come our three year PLAN which we will carry out and review and then put these plans in to practice.
A church that is willing to adapt and change and to give different things a go is more likely to be a growing church
A church that understands its context, actively engages with it and with those who might not currently go to church is more likely to be a growing church
A church that has a clear vision for where God wants them to be in the future is more likely to get there
A church which has a plan of activities, based on a good knowledge of its context and a clear vision is more likely to achieve its goals and realize its vision
Over the next few weeks there will be many opportunities for you to get involved and have your say:
You will have the opportunity to comment on the worship and sacramental life of the church. You will be invited to attend workshops which will look at every aspect of church life: how we engage with and apply scripture; what we do to nurture discipleship and vocation; how we respond to human need; whether we do enough to attract and include newcomers; what we’re doing for our children and young people. There are also some online surveys which you can fill in at any time Online Surveys here.
We cannot stress enough how important it is that you take these opportunities.
This is your church-
decisions and change must come out of shared consultation.
Our first MAP Meeting was held in the Church Centre on Saturday 14th October, 2017. Fr. Chris has written a summary of the meeting which you can read here- feel free to get in touch with Fr. Chris if there is anything you would like to talk about or can offer help with using the details on our Contact Page! Thank you very much to all those who attended!!
Our second and final MAP Meeting for Stage 2 of the process was held in the Church Centre on Saturday 13th January, 2018, at 12:30pm. During this meeting (3 hours) we carried out a SWOT analysis (Health Check) of all areas of our church life together to give us a clearer picture of where our church is strong and where we need to prioritise our attention moving forward over the next few years. Fr. Chris will produce a summary of the meeting to be added to the website soon. Thank you again to all those who took the time to attend!
To read Fr. Chris' introductory message about the MAP Process, please click here.
To find out more about the different stages of the MAP Process, click the images below: