In these days of Pentecost, we continue to pray for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit as we go on discerning what it means for us to be the Church across the places of this diocese and beyond. It has been good hearing stories of what some worshipping communities are learning, in terms of what people are hoping to hold onto, and what people wish to let go of, as we gradually return to a different future.
We do encourage every worshipping community to be putting processes in place to explore what you are learning, and we invite you to share those ideas with us so that people can learn from one another.
Bishop Rachel shares her thoughts and some questions that might help you as we seek to identify learning opportunities from this experience.
The Diocese of Oxford has produced this tool, based on the 5 Marks of Mission as a way of helping deaneries, parishes and benefices to take stock and look forward.
Local examples of learning
- St Catharine’s Church, Gloucester has sent out a survey to see how virtual worship has been going and to start to gather some views about the future. St Catharine’s Church Survey May 2020 They are also starting to invite non church people to come along for questions and answer sessions with this tweet and other social media invitations.
- The church is also seeking views from the local community about the role that the church could play and how it could meet the needs in the community going forward. You can view the questionnaire here —>
Do you want to chew over any questions you might have about life and faith at the moment? If so, please do join us on Zoom this Sunday 14 June at 7.30pm. All welcome! @stcatsglos @GlosDioc #AnyQuestions #AnswersCannotBeGuaranteed #GoodToTalk pic.twitter.com/6GDImLmsFV
— Jo Pestell (@jopestell) June 8, 2020
- The Stroud Churches have created a section of their website with questions to prompt reflection on experiences at this time. People can post their thoughts on this part of the website to share with visitors to the site and there are some really insightful comments. Their next step is to have small group online conversations about what the future might look like.
- The Benefice of Lydney, Woolaston, Alvington and Aylburton has been having breakout room conversations as part of the weekly church service to see where the Holy Spirit might be leading the benefice as we emerge from lockdown. Clergy are also keeping in touch with families who have experienced a bereavement both for pastoral support and also to see what they might find helpful once we’re back in our buildings.
Please send examples of your learning processes to Katherine Clamp.