Going for growth
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Going for Growth. In Smestow Vale. Adult Sunday Attendance. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 Wombourne 201 194 187 189 189 Trysull 60 56 55 60 59 Bobbington 13 15 12 13 12

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Going for Growth

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Going for growth

Going for Growth

In Smestow Vale


Adult sunday attendance

Adult Sunday Attendance

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Wombourne 201 194 187 189 189

Trysull 60 56 55 60 59

Bobbington 13 15 12 13 12

Swindon 20 17 16 15 14

Himley 36 39 37 38 40

Cluster 330 321 307 315 314


Child sunday attendance

Child Sunday Attendance

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Wombourne 35 37 40 36 26

Trysull 8 7 6 8 9

Bobbington 1 1 2 2 1

Swindon 1 1 0 0 1

Himley 11 11 14 10 10

Cluster 56 57 62 56 47


Sunday attendance trends

Sunday Attendance Trends

  • Overall drop from 386 to 361 -6%

  • So decline has been slow but noticeable

  • Mainly at Wombourne and Swindon

  • The recent fall in the number of children (by a quarter in the two years 2002-2004) is a particular concern


Wombourne services at st benedict

Wombourne – Services at St Benedict

  • 8am HC av attend 30 (nos going down)

  • 10.30am Parish Communion 129 & rising

  • 6.30 BCP Evensong recently reduced to monthly 20-25 (more than when weekly)

  • Daily MP & EP said daily led by laity

  • Thurs 9.30 15-25 people

  • Numbers of children going down


Wombourne services at ven bede

Wombourne – Services at Ven Bede

  • 9am Holy Communion av att 38 & rising

  • Numbers suffer from the time being so early

  • Tues 9.30 10-15 people

  • 10.30 Monthly FS for young families & baptism contacts started 4/5 years ago. Highest attend so far is 67 & nos are rising - Lay Led

  • 6pm 6x a year ‘Adults & Children Together’ (ACT) very flexible & informal. Started 3 years ago average attendance 75

  • These two planted at Ven Bede as have toilets!!!!


Wombourne special services

Wombourne – Special Services

  • Memorial Services 2x Year 150-250

  • Carol & Christingle Services 150-250

  • Baptisms Sunday afternoon – around 65 a year

  • 1500 children in church over Christmas

  • 1000 at services Christmas Eve & Day

  • A big fringe & so scope for growth


Wombourne service pattern examples of changes for growth

Wombourne – Service Pattern – Examples of changes for growth

  • Re-organise service pattern?

  • FS 4.30 weekly?

  • Midweek later plus lunch?

  • Building plans at both churches good – can you afford both?


Wombourne children teens

Wombourne – Children & Teens

  • Servers, Choir, Bell Ringers

  • Parent & Toddler 2x week at St Bede

  • Sunday Club St Ben (nos low)

  • Ven Bede FS & ACT going well

  • But not so well at St Ben

  • Junior Youth Club Sun aft gets up to 20

  • J club for key stage 3 at Ven Bede

  • Uniformed orgs well attended

  • St Benedict School, assemblies,special services etc


Wombourne children

Wombourne –children

  • Lots of school contacts

  • Parents and toddlers 2x weekly

  • New ecumenical J club

  • ‘Church for them’?

  • Childrens’ minister – growth fund?


Wombourne pastoral care

Wombourne – pastoral care

  • Dayspring bereaved group attracts big nos

  • Healing service

  • You hope to train visitors & counsellors

  • Think about developing small groups (home groups etc) for relational glue, prayer-support, pastoral care, belonging, commitment


Trysull service pattern

Trysull – service pattern

  • 8am HC

  • 10am CW HC Main service but AA service monthly and Sunday School monthly

  • 6.30 BCP Evensong

  • Good Choir

  • Average attendance of 68 in 2004 is well above the average for a parish pop of 1100


Trysull children teens

Trysull – children & teens

  • Monthly SS in nearby school

  • Up to 30 children – more commitment to a monthly event

  • Problem of how the early teens fit into the Family Service etc

  • Some adults find the informality & presence of children in the FS hard to cope with

  • But we suggest you must continue to try making the morning service more & more ‘young-person friendly’


Trysull ncd survey

Trysull – NCD Survey

  • The Natural Church Development survey conducted a year ago showed the limiting factor (main weakness) to be spirituality

  • Some find it hard to talk about their faith

  • Perhaps the main priority should be deepening the faith of existing members

  • Alpha/Emmaus/Lent Course for PCC & others?


Trysull party with a purpose

Trysull – party with a purpose

  • You said that ‘nobody does parties like we do’

  • This is a great church-growth opportunity

  • Hold a party, invite lots of contacts, and include a presentation on the Christian faith

  • Go for it – growing the church should be fun!


Trysull using the church building as a community resource

Trysull – Using the church building as a community resource

  • Re-ordering church buildings for multi-use by the community during the week is a common policy these days

  • Explore your ideas for an L shaped area to be re-developed in conjunction with the Primary Care Trust – lunch clubs etc

  • As well as offering a community resource you might also grow the church family


Bobbington the church building

Bobbington – the church building

  • This was closed in 2003 for major repairs and has just been re-opened

  • You met in the Methodist church in the meantime – develop links

  • Numbers have risen in recent months from attendance of 12-14 up to 15-20

  • We gather you have had good numbers during the first few weeks back in your bld


Bobbington further growth

Bobbington – further growth?

  • The opening celebrations and the first Christmas back provide a wonderful one-off opportunity for drawing new people in

  • Think how you can use the restored building more imaginatively than just for one service a week

  • Eg can you keep it open for private prayer & tourists/walkers?

  • Encourage the school to use it regularly and invite the children & their families to monthly FS


St john s swindon

St John’s Swindon

  • Steady decline in numbers over many years

  • In 1982 19 at early HC; 23 at morning service; 42 at evening service, total 84

  • In 2005 6 at early HC (monthly); 12 at morning service; 14 at evening service (monthly), total 12 some weeks – ageing congregation

  • Sun School stopped c 1990 in controversial circumstances

  • URC better youth provision & central position


St john s swindon1

St John’s Swindon

  • You need seriously to consider whether the future lies in joining more closely with the URC church with a view to amalgamation

  • Or in a rejuvenation strategy, for which you will need some energy and a willingness for radical change

  • Doing nothing may result in continued gradual decline until the church just dies


St michael s himley

St Michael’s Himley

  • A lot of bap & wedd requests – many come from outside parish

  • 8am has shrunk from 10 in 1998 to 6 in 2005

  • 11am has grown from 25 in 1998 to 36 in 2005

  • Mothering Sunday, Easter, Harvest can attract 70 to 90, Carols over 100

  • Financially solvent & pays Share


St michael s himley1

St Michael’s Himley

  • Growth has come through baptisms, weddings, funerals ministry

  • Young age profile – average age in 40s

  • Growth helped by small extension for Sunday School room,though space is still limited – 10 children fill it!

  • Growth threatened by competing Sunday morning family activities & sports


St michael s himley2

St Michael’s Himley

  • A future growth strategy might involve looking at how to connect better with the village community

  • A further extension to the building (toilet) plus better parking & keep going with the welcoming baptism and weddings policy

  • Network with the baptism and wedding contacts as well as the existing congregation to see if there is a better time for the main service away from the competing activities – 4pm followed by shared tea?


All the country parishes

All the country parishes

  • A key ingredient in future developments must be an expansion of lay ministry and lay leadership

  • Taking part in services (eg teams for AA services) and in outreach (eg befriending baptism/wedding/funeral contacts)


Finances

Finances

  • Some churches criticised the Parish Share system as penalising success

  • Alternatives being looked at

  • BUT – mutual support important. If you pay less others pay more

  • Stewardship campaign at Wombourne


Eight changes that lead to church growth

Eight changes that lead to church growth

  • Planting new congregations

  • Making worship less formal, more relaxed

  • Better provision for children and young people (Family Services, Sunday Schools, Youth provision)

  • Improving welcome & integration

  • Better quality, more varied, contemporary music

  • More lay involvement in leadership

  • Better small groups & pastoral care

  • Improvements to buildings


Help from the diocese

Help from the Diocese

‘The Growth Fund’ is now operational

  • You have received application forms from the Bishop of Lichfield

  • Grants will be offered on a matched funding basis

  • For mission & evangelism initiatives aimed at growing the church, especially for initiatives aimed at people under 40 & for Fresh Expressions


Help from the diocese1

Help from the Diocese

  • The funds are a mix of diocesan capital and of annual grants from the Church Commissioners for mission initiatives

  • Parishes, Clusters, Deaneries,any unit, may apply

  • We are starting with over £250,000pa

  • We can apply this money to the Growth Fund rather than stipends because of the tremendous response on Parish Share!

  • Time to pray and think about your initiative!!


Over to you

Over to you….

Have we seen it right?


Over to you1

Over to you….

How do you propose developing these priorities?

What might you develop with others in the cluster or deanery?


Over to you2

Over to you……

Can you draw up your proposals in the next few months and share them with:

: The Deanery

: The Area Bishop & Archdeacon

:The Divisions (for their support)


Wombourne venerable bede st benedict biscop

Wombourne Venerable Bede& St Benedict Biscop

  • Commuter village/suburb, housing is quite expensive, when people arrive they stay

  • So not so many young children but a lot of teenagers and a lot of retired people

  • Yet still do 65 baptisms a year and a lot of weddings and funerals

  • Five other churches in Wombourne (RC, URC, Meth, Pent, Indep)


Wombourne service pattern

Wombourne – Service Pattern

  • I wonder if you include the two new services in your attendance returns!!??

  • Lots of encouragment eg from the two new services & the large fringe of occasional worshippers

  • There must be a way of re-organising your service pattern to stimulate further growth of regular attendance


Wombourne service pattern priorities

Wombourne – Service Pattern Priorities

  • Get some toilets in at St Benedict

  • Then you are flexible enough to do All Age worship or have a good Sunday School at the centrally situated parish church

  • Older people will also come more willingly

  • Have one of the weekday 9.30am services later eg 11 or 12 followed by lunch – target group = retireds esp those living alone


Wombourne money and ministry

Wombourne – Money and Ministry

  • You explained your financial concerns to us

  • Share is very large and reserves diminishing

  • You would like a children’s worker but can’t afford one

  • But since then you have had a very successful stewardship campaign – HALLELUIAH!!

  • We hope the Growth Fund will help you finance a children’s worker – get your application in asap!!


Wombourne buildings

Wombourne - Buildings

  • We are delighted by your PCC priority list for St B – Lady Chapel, Floors, Toilet-Creche-Kitchen

  • These will help people encounter God, bring the building up to modern standards, provide spaces for children’s groups, enable after-service fellowship, etc


Wombourne buildings1

Wombourne - Buildings

  • The priorities at Ven Bede (kitchen, disabled toilet, stage into new room/storage) are also excellent & clearly thought through

  • We were not sure whether the two sets of priorities will have to compete with each other for money!


Wombourne children teens1

Wombourne – Children & Teens

  • So a lot going on but needs developing & coordinating

  • And probably doing Christian nurture & teaching during the different events rather than just seeing them as stepping stones to Sunday services

  • So aim for the children’s worker but recognise their role is to organise the work not do it all for you

  • And you will soon need better youth provision if better children’s work is not to be wasted


Wombourne future growth prospects strategy

Wombourne – future growth prospects & strategy

  • Big & Exciting opportunities

  • Re-jig Service Pattern

  • Building Work

  • The joy of giving rather than fund-raising

  • Children’s Minister

  • Growing lay & local leadership

  • Small Groups


Trysull ncd survey1

Trysull – NCD Survey

  • Could PCC members give a lead by deciding to go through an Alpha or Emmaus course themselves, and encouraging other church members to join them?

  • Or could you find a Lent Course about encountering God?

  • There is no point in having a drive to get more people to ‘join our club’

  • You need a heart for helping people share your experience of the love of God in Jesus Christ


Bobbington the parish

Bobbington – the parish

  • Population only 500

  • Two villages and a number of farms

  • There is a village primary school and a village hall

  • A number of changes to the ministry oversight since the church ceased to have its own vicar in 1982

  • Now a non-stipendiary resident minister as part of the Smestow Vale team


Bobbington further growth1

Bobbington – further growth

  • Do not waste the closer links you now have with the Methodists

  • Eg the new meeting room at Gospel Ash could be a good joint facility – work together and also worship together sometimes

  • We suggest you link in with other team churches for children & young people

  • If the children’s worker served the team as well as Wombourne could they help you make a breakthrough?


St john s swindon2

St John’s Swindon

  • Industrial village that became a dormitory

  • Newcomers not integrated much into the congregation

  • Building feels on edge of village, hidden away

  • URC church is more central and has grown a lot through the 1990s


St john s swindon3

St John’s Swindon

  • All are over 50, many around 75

  • A small number in their 50s & 60s have joined/become regular in recent years

  • And still good numbers at some festivals

  • Though these include folk from other churches

  • The end of the Sunday School, C of E seen as too conservative & better position of church have all encouraged a drift to the URCs


St john s swindon amalgamation strategy

St John’s Swindon – amalgamation strategy

  • More joint services & pulpit exchanges

  • Joint social events and festivals

  • A period of intentionally getting to know each other well

  • While considering the form of any long term relationship (joint premises? LEP? Etc)


St john s swindon rejuvenation strategy

St John’s Swindon – rejuvenation strategy

  • Spread the jobs around all church members and involve the youngest in leadership

  • Improve the appearance of the church interior – more contemporary, flexible

  • Build on the big festivals and make sure there is a follow-up offer to all who come

  • Use the Christmas Tree Festival, the History Days and the Flower Festivals as church growth opportunities


St john s swindon rejuvenation strategy1

St John’s Swindon – rejuvenation strategy

  • Church School in the village is the main key

  • Develop your links into the school

  • Encourage school services and invite children and their parents to Family or All Age Services (consider radically different service times)

  • After-school club as a new ‘Sunday School’?

  • You may need a professional ‘children’s worker’ to get things started (part timer? Share in team worker? Growth fund? Special appeal?)


St michael s himley3

St Michael’s Himley

  • Population only 350 & the church is physically isolated

  • No church hall, parking is a problem

  • Yet an attractive position and close to built up areas

  • A lot of baptism & wedding requests

  • Most members live outside the parish, actually in Worcester Diocese – we encourage you to steal as many from Worcester as possible!


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