Plans - for the future and recent achievements

Our plans

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.

Future Goals

The PCC has considered the Values, Mission and Vision of the church before the Annual Meeting (2018). Flowing from the mission (to love God, love people, love the world - learning all the time) These key actions have been identified:

● Sustain the new 1100 service, including developing children’s groups
● Recruit a new Choir Director / Organist
● Strengthen our prayer life (prayer meeting, prayer space)
● Run an enquirer’s course in the Autumn and continue Life Groups
● Implement QI and H&S recommendations
● Gain an Eco-church award
● Gather a group to work on Church reordering / decoration
● Work towards a break-even budget, including full payment of Common Fund request and reinstating PCC giving to charities

What we have done so far:
Launch an activity-based midweek group for older people
 'Connections', a new group has been formed primarily for older people in the community which is 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.

Extend the circulation of the Spire
The Spire committee recruited a new member to organise the delivery of the magazine to every house in the parish. The parish was divided up into sections, extra volunteers were asked to deliver the magazines and eventually every house received a copy. An increase in the number of magazines taken from the post office and other places was presumed to be a direct result of this initiative.

● Enrich the 9.30 repertoire of hymns with ‘best of the new’
Early in 2018 the vicar introduced a 'popular' last hymn, for when the Sunday School had rejoined the congregation. This was generally taken from the book 'Songs of Fellowship' and the children were able to join in more easily.

● Renew the Visiting Team
The Visiting Team started its work again during 2018. The members visit people who cannot get to church for any particuar reason. 

● Trial an after-school at Hampton Hill Juniors
This was a successful venture with waiting lists.

● Develop St James’s Day into a weekend
A team was gathered to develop the usual single day of celebrations to a whole St James's Weekend. The church was open with activities on the Saturday and the St James's Day service followed by the meal were on the Sunday.

● Refurbish the hall and recruit a Hall Management Team
The first part of this project was the fitting of new cupboards in the hall entrance to store the Fairtrade goods and the hanging of new noticeboards in the same area.

Singing a hymn Spire magazines Connections

Singing the 'best of the new'

Spire magazines


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!

Find out more

Giving in grace (2018 updated document)
Mission Action Plans (documents)