Future plans

Plans for the future

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

Our current 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.

2018 Goals

In the coming year we hope to:
Launch an activity-based midweek group for older people
►  'Connections', a new group is being formed primarily for older people in the community will be held on the first Tuesday of the month. Come along and enjoy fresh coffee, cakes, friendship and support. Meeting in church, it will provide a great opportunity to find new friends.

● Run a course for enquirers
● Put on a holiday club for children
● Refurbish the hall
● Put on more special services, e.g. Choral Evensongs
● Develop further the new 1100 service
● Extend the circulation of the Spire
● Begin new initiatives to reach families
● Implement work on the building as required by the Quinquennial Inspection
● Develop the partnership with our neighbouring churches

2017 Goals with achievements

Create a service to meet especially the needs of families, but welcoming everyone
►  Work with children was developed, building on Shell Seekers and the Ark, by starting a new service at 1100,  Together at Eleven' specially created to meet the needs of families. Everyone stayed together in church for worship, teaching and prayer. All-age services were sometimes held at 1100 or 1000 instead of 0930 for specific occasions like Mothering Sunday, Harvest Festival and Christingle. In addition all these services were designed to be more informal and accessible for children, without Holy Communion and often using the new overhead screen.

Make a greater impact in our community
►  We updated our image with the public to help us reach more people. A group looked into new branding and 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 and the distribution of the Spire was widened. 

Derek developed the way St James's keeps in touch with people. He updated the weekly Pew Sheet, using colour, pictures and extra information. Also, every Saturday he started sending all congregation members a weekly email with greetings and any relevant information. Sermons were uploaded onto the website for people to listen to if they couldn't make it to church on Sunday or wanted to hear one again.

We were pleased to support other charities and organisations. Over the course of the year we welcomed three outside speakers and contributed to good causes in the UK and overseas in kind as well as financially.

Install toilets in the church and make certain other improvements to the church
►  Two toilets, one suitable for wheelchair users and with baby changing facilities, were built in the west porch, opposite the parish office. This now makes it easier to use the church independently of the hall. 

There have been considerable other improvements to the church building: new west porch doors; new cupboards and drawers, a sink and also power sockets in the vestry; further power sockets in the north and south aisle; extra storage cupboards in the hall and the children’s area, where there are also new tables; new notice boards in the hall corridor and at the west porch entrance; the outside south doors painted; the heating and the screen/microphone system repaired; the organ restored; the clock faces/stonework in the spire repaired. See the photo album Church improvements which includes most of the improvements made in 2017.

Draft a year’s programme of social events - some for everyone, some for adults, some for families 
►  The newly named Social Team planned a year of events, including a Lent quiz night, fish and chip supper and a curry night. The film club continued, St James's Ramblers was formed, with occasional two mile walks ending with pub lunches and a new Gardening Club was formed. Children's parties were held, including a paddling pool tea party in the vicarage garden, a teddy bears picnic, a late summer party, a celebration of light as an alternative to Halloween and an Epiphany party.

Seize the opportunities to use our building midweek - now we have toilets
►  The usual Tuesday communion service at 0930 was developed into 'Communion and Coffee' on the second Tuesday of the month. After the short service people stayed for coffee and a social get-together and this proved very popular. Groups started to meet in the church during the day and also in the evening.

Take further action to improve our welcome to visitors and newcomers
►  The sidespersons in church on a Sunday morning and the vergers at weddings, baptisms, funerals and other services were given name tags to wear which identified them as being welcoming helpers.

The outside of the church was gradually made more attractive and inviting. A new bench made from beech wood was installed by the south porch. It was given to the church by the local council after they had cut down the diseased beech tree. The outside of the church around the west and south porches was tidied up and a large area prepared for spring wildflowers. Four trees given to the church by the Mayor of London’s 'Trees for Sacred Spaces' project were planted. Posters in the new notice boards at the west porch entrance were continually being updated and therefore let people know that there is a lot is going on in the church.

Strengthen links with local organisations including the schools
►  Derek continued the tradition of taking services in the local care homes and a new venture was a carol service at Laurel Dene with members of the congregation and the Hampton Hill Junior School choir supporting the carol singing. An Easter service was also held there. He also took assemblies at the local schools, Carlisle Infants, Hampton HIll Juniors, LEH Juniors. There have been visits to the church from Hampton Hill Juniors, LEH Juniors, Jack and Jill, and the Scouts and the schools have also held their Christmas carol services in the church. Derek has also contributed to the Brownies, Beavers and Cubs' evenings.

Recruit a Children and Families’ Work Leader
►  Karen Roach was appointed in December 2017.

Arrange learning events or short series for discipleship on certain evenings
►  A Lent Course, and four ‘Learning’ evenings were held in the summer. House groups were revived in September and called 'Life Groups'. During the term the members read and discussed Paul's Letter to the Philippians. Derek led the meetings and "the group felt that it had been an enjoyable and inspiring time, giving us the opportunity to give thanks for our blessings, share concerns, and pray for ours and other people’s needs". They were reconvened after Christmas. 

Create a team to plan St James’s Day, when the Bishop of Kensington visits
►  See the photo album

There are many more of these initiatives in our Mission Action Plan: some immediate, some for the coming year, and some for ‘one day.’ So St James’s has a vision and a plan. Now with prayer, we let’s move forward!

Read the leaflet Giving in grace (2018 pdf document)