__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

The$Waltham$Group$ Welcome$✢$Share$✢$Grow

2015%Annual%Report%% This year, we’re presenting the annual report a bit differently. Instead of separate reports for each church, there is one report for the benefice. This gives us a chance to share news, raise awareness of what’s happening around the group, and work together more effectively as God’s people in this place. The shared report also reflects a change that has come about in the Diocese of Lincoln this year. In the past, each church was assessed for its Parish Share separately. This year, we have begun a new system in which the Parish Share is set for the whole benefice, for us to share between us as we best can. This has allowed us to redress some past difficulties with parish share, and to proportion the parish share according to both the reality of the finances across the group, and in response to the focus of our mission and ministry. In the coming years, we will need to be thinking more and more about how we best use our resources for the good of the church and our wider communities. Having so many beautiful churches in such a small geographic area is a privilege, but it is also a challenge. A lot of the energy of the church goes into maintaining buildings, and while our buildings are a hugely important part of our identity and heritage, we need to make sure that our church buildings help support the growth of faith rather than hinder it. There will be hard conversations ahead — but exciting ones too. We have vast resources of good will, kindness and creativity in The Waltham Group, and a clear desire to engage more meaningfully with our communities. The time has come for us to focus our resources on the things that will help welcome God’s people, share God’s love, and grow in the breadth and depth of our relationships.

Welcome%✢%Share%✢%Grow% This year, we began to focus our work and mission under the words ‘Welcome, Share, Grow’. 
 As we make decisions about how to focus our energies we are learning to ask three questions: Welcome — Does it build relationships?
 Share — Does it share God’s love? 
 Grow — Does it encourage Growth? These questions are shaping everything from how we plan our teaching and small groups, to how we

#

draw up kitchen designs. I hope that you will find them helpful in your own thinking about the church. WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

St%Peter’s,%Ashby%cum%Fenby% The congregation of St Peter’s gathers from Ashby and surrounding villages, and is committed to the traditional patterns of worship in the Book of Common Prayer. This is a stable congregation that welcomes visitors warmly, but rarely sees new members. The community enjoys coming to church for the Carol Service at Christmas, and they support the regular coffee mornings which are run in the church hall. The community also greatly values the church as a place of burial: both the church and the graveyard are beautiful, and there is a strong sense of time stretching to eternity when people gather for a funeral. At one funeral this year, the sun shone and the children lingered and played on the lawn after the burial, and it felt like the most natural thing in the world. Ashby is also seeing an increase in weddings. Although Hall Farm is itself a wedding venue, they encourage couples to consider a church wedding, and more and more people are approaching us through the hotel. In 2013, the Church of England clarified the nature of Qualifying Connections in multi-church benefices, so that anyone who has a qualifying connection in one of our churches can be married in any of our churches. This opens up the geography for weddings in Ashby, and those who have their reception at Hall Farm. One of the qualifying connections is having a valid ‘worshipping connection’ and this opens the doors wider for those who may not have a geographic connection, but who are serious about wanting a church wedding, and willing to begin worshipping with us to enable that. One of the families who came to us through Hall Farm is now a regular part of the 11.30 service at Waltham, and their eldest child will soon be baptised. The openness of the legislation means that Ashby can host an ever-increasing number of weddings, while families can explore the different styles of worship around the group and make connections where they have the best chance of growing in faith and developing meaningful relationships.

Ashby%Statistics:% Congregational Roll: 12
 Usual Sunday Attendance: 10
 Population: 249 (2011)
 Key Events: Carol Service, Coffee Mornings
 Parish Share 2015: £4800 (paid)
 Total Income 2015: £6,680
 Total Expenditure 2015: £10,614
 Savings & Investments at end 2015: £23,756
 Parish Share 2016: £1,632 (3% of WG total)
 Benefice Share 2016: £54,416
 Worship Pattern: Morning Prayer (BCP) once a

#

month, Holy Communion (BCP) every 2nd month WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

St%Helen’s,%Barnoldby%le%Beck% The congregation of St Helens gathers from Barnoldby and surrounding villages. For many years now, the majority of the congregation live outside the village, but return because of a sense of belonging and commitment to this church. The pattern of worship is varied: Holy Communion is from the Book of Common Prayer, and the Family Service is an informal service from Common Worship. This has been a challenging year for Barnoldby. For many years, now, it has been a struggle to manage the finances of the church, but through the great skill and care of the treasurer, the church has always covered its bills and contributed regularly — if not in full — to the Parish Share. In 2015 this proved impossible, and for the first time in December, the church could not cover its basic bills. Although the church building is beautiful, there has been significant movement in the ground in recent years, and there are ever-growing cracks in the East Wall and North Trancept. In 2016, the congregation is approaching the wider community to ask for their help in funding a specialist survey of the movement, to determine the scope of the problem. By asking for help to raise a relatively small amount of money for the survey (£1500), we will also be able to better test the level of commitment from the community to the church. Although the church has a good relationship with the Council, there is not as strong a connection with the wider community in Barnoldby as there is in the other villages of the group. The graveyard is nearly full now, and we are also beginning conversations about whether to close the graveyard and consecrate a piece of land that was given to the church for this purpose. Clearly, there are lots of difficult decisions ahead. However, there is also much good will in the congregation. The church is open each Wednesday and Saturday thanks to the kindness of a neighbour. People do gather from other villages, either for a BCP Holy Communion Service, or to support the family service. Christmas Eve was much loved and well attended by the village.

Barnoldby%Statistics:%% Electoral Roll: 27

Usual Sunday Attendance: 11

Population: 346

Parish Share 2015: £2,593 (paid £250) Total Income: £4,190

Key Events: Christmas Eve


Expenditure: £4,304 Sav & Invest.: nil


#

Parish Share 2016: £1,632 (3% of WG total) Worship Pattern: Monthly Eucharist & Family Service


WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

St%Helen’s,%Brigsley% St Helen’s is a tiny congregation, with only 6 on the electoral roll. There is a monthly service of Morning Prayer (usually BCP), and a service of Holy Communion (BCP) every second month (alternating with Ashby). The church and churchyard are dearly loved by the community, and a burial always leads to fond memories and stories of those buried before. A member of the village helps to organise the Carol Service at Christmas and gets lots of children from the community involved. Most of these families also have connections with Ravendale through the school. Historically, Brigsley has met its financial commitments despite its size through a single fundraising event run by two of the congregation. Last year, one of the two turned 80 and moved out of the village, and the fundraising event is no longer possible. The church is now using its savings to pay its Parish Share and routine bills. In the village, the Village Hall Committee is increasingly active. There are monthly coffee mornings and special events in the school holidays. As the congregation ages, it is good to see the Village Hall growing as a place of social contact and support for the community. One of the challenges Briglsey faces is its geography. Ashby lies a mile to the south-west; Waltham lies a mile and a half to the north-east. There is no clear need for three separate worshipping communities in so small a space, however much each church is loved. People who are growing in faith are much more likely to form attachments at Ravendale through the School or at Waltham, where there is a larger and more diverse community. This makes the future of St Helen’s feel very uncertain, though the congregation remain committed to worshipping together on a Sunday as often as they can. 
 


Brigsley%Statistics:%% Electoral Roll: 6
 Usual Sunday Attendance: 4
 Population: 355 (2011)
 Key Events: Carol Service
 Parish Share 2015: £2412 (paid)
 Total Income 2015: £4,366
 Total Expenditure 2015: £4,533
 Savings & Investments at end 2015: £5,411
 Parish Share 2016: £1,632 (3% of WG total)
 Benefice Share 2016: £54,416
 Worship Pattern: Morning Prayer (BCP) once a

#

month, Holy Communion (BCP) every 2nd month WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

St%Martin’s,%East%Ravendale% Of all the churches in The Waltham Group, St Martin’s has the clearest focus in mission. The Church and the Church School were built together in 1857, and their lives are bound up together. Many of the congregation and ministry team are involved with the school: acting as Trustees for the Church School Trust, serving as Governors, or teaching and helping in the classroom. The rector is in school most weeks, and the children come into church regularly for festivals and celebrations. The congregation have made a conscious choice to focus their energy on hospitality. Whenever the school comes into church, members of the congregation clean, bring flowers, and clean again (after the bats) so that the children feel welcomed. The local community supports the church by looking after the graveyard and helping to clean and prepare for big festivals. The church and school are currently in discussion about ways to open up the church path so that children and parents arrive through the church grounds each day, instead of along a dark narrow path beside the school. We are also preparing to launch a Friends of East Ravendale group to reconnect former students with church and school. In 2016, we will begin raising funds to repair some of the stained glass which is in very poor condition. Worship at St Martin’s is prayerful and relaxed. Holy Communion is from the book of Common Prayer, and draws a small congregation of adults and terriers. All Age Worship varies hugely. Sometimes the children outnumber the dogs; sometimes they don’t; teenagers and young parents come and go; the eldest member is often the one most enthusiastic about the crafts. It is an easy place to be, and all of life gets held in prayer.

Ravendale%Statistics:% Electoral Roll: xx

Usual Sunday: 7

Parish Share 2015: £3005 (paid)

Population: 187

Total Income:

Key Events: Easter Day, Carol Service
 Expenditure:

Sav & Invest.: nil


(accounts still in process, 7 April 2016) 


Usual School Services: 105 children, 15 adults

Worship Pattern: Monthly, Festivals, School Services

#

Parish Share 2016: £2,176 (4% of WG total)

WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

St%Matthew’s,%New%Waltham% St Matthew’s is notable, of all our churches, for the vivid sense of prayerfulness that fills the worship space and extends to the garden. This comes of a church well used: all through the week, members of the congregation go in to prepare the church, clean, do flowers, or simply to linger. Every Tuesday night, this prayerful silence grows as people gather for Cake, Quiet and Compline. These evenings offer a bit of social time and conversation, an hour’s silence (to pray, read, sew or just be), and a short service of night prayer. Afterwards, they wash up in silence, and nod goodnight without disrupting the quiet. The congregation continue to have a warm relationship with the Methodist Church, and the two congregations worship together once a month. We also share a weekly bible study and the occasional evening course, most recently joining for the Passion in Paint in Lent Course in 2016. St Matthew’s is small enough that everyone watches out for each other. Several members are very elderly and increasingly housebound. Younger members of the congregation bring them to church when they feel able, ring and visit when they don’t, and often help make sure they get the care they need. The Council in New Waltham is particularly supportive of the church, and in 2015, the village fair took place in and around the church. At Christmas, we have renewed the tradition of Carols around the Tree, and are led by the choir of New Waltham Primary School. In 2015, 250 people gathered to sing, and many stayed on for hot chocolate, and later, for the Salvation Army Carol Concert in church. Brownies and Rainbows meet weekly in the church, and share in worship at certain holidays. In the coming months, we will be creating an office space for The Waltham Group at St Matthews. The new office will give us greater opportunity for collaborative work, and will offer our curatedesignate a base in the parish since his home is in Scartho. The office will also give us a more visible presence in New Waltham as we seek to build new relationships.

New%Waltham%Statistics% Electoral Roll: 25
 Usual Sunday Attendance: 17
 Population: 5,214 (2011)
 Key Events: Summer Fair, Carols on Green
 Parish Share 2015: £4,516
 Total Income 2015: £14,372
 Total Expenditure 2015: £12,642
 Savings & Investments (Dec.2015): £29,203
 Parish Share 2016: £4,352 (8% of WG total)
 Worship Pattern: Weekly. 1 Family Service


#

3 Eucharist (or 2 + 1 @ Methodist) WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

All%Saints,%Waltham% All Saints is the largest and most diverse of our churches. The worship patterns includes a said communion service (1st & 3rd Sundays) ; a Sung Eucharist; a monthly service aimed at young families; 6.30 Choral Evensong; and a mid-week Eucharist on Thursday mornings (1st & 3rd Thursdays). The diversity of worship means that All Saints is where people new to the church are most likely to feel at home. In 2015, we re-evaluated our children’s work, and made two big changes First, we stopped ‘Create’ — the monthly crafts, storytelling & worship time. Although each event was working well for those who came, the group was disparate, and it was not building community. The event was costly, but in time and money, and we decided that we could better focus our resources elsewhere. Second, we started the 11.30 Service. This is aimed at families with young children, but it is also an ‘All Age’ service where we learn and grow together. Some months, this service is story-based. Other months it is craft-based. We always sing and pray and spend time together. This is a ‘paperless’ service — all the songs and liturgy is taught on the spot so that people of all ages and abilities can join in. The choir is thriving right now, and several children have joined (with little siblings waiting hopefully in the wings). Our teenagers and young adults continue to do amazing things, gaining distinctions and medals from the Royal School of Church Music, winning national scholarships, and singing up and down the country with various groups. Rachel Fowler (ordinand) is now working in the Leas: leading assemblies, teaching some RE, and building relationships in the school. Rachel began at the Leas at just the right moment: the school was ready to renew and strengthen its relationship with the church, and Rachel’s presence there is creating new opportunities for the Church, the School and the wider community. We have also changed our patterns of working with the Rainbows, Brownies and Guides so that we less often ask them to adapt to our ways of worship, and more often offer them a space where they can feel at ease in church. In 2015, this led to three new things. First, we came together for Thinking Day, to remember the founding vision of Rainbows, Brownies & Guides and to pray for the community. Second, the groups led our May Queen celebrations. Together they decorated the hall, led the dancing, and worked with the Mother’s Union to serve afternoon tea. At Harvest, the Brownies came into church to make special food baskets for C.A.R.E. They also joined the community at Remembrance and prayed by making poppies all through the service. In 2015, we also began conversations that would enable us to

#

welcome Children into Communion before Confirmation. The

WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk


April 2016

Waltham Group Churches

congregation engaged with both the pastoral and theological issues around this very deeply. After several months of careful consideration, it become clear that the majority of the congregation were willing to let each family decide for itself whether to have their children share in communion once they showed a desire to, or to wait till they were old enough to make the life-long promises of Confirmation. We therefore wrote to the bishop asking him to allow us to admit children to communion, and received permission for this in Holy Week, 2016. Children may now be received into communion at any point after their baptism. Children who wish to receive will have some initial conversation and training about communion, will be formally received into communion, and will continue to grow in their knowledge and understanding about communion as they share in the life of the church. 2015 also marked the beginning of a new group called Daily Blessings. This group was first intended as a gathering place for those on the margins of faith, but evolved into a place where we can ask hard questions about how our faith intersects with key issues in ethics and social justice. This is one of several small groups that meet in church for prayer, study and friendship. This year was the first year of focusing our charitable giving on one local and one international charity. The Summer Fair was the prime fund-raiser for charity, as well as being a day that we welcome and enjoy spending time with the wider community. We also began a summer produce swap which raised funds and led to many happy conversations over cake on the lawn. For the first time in several years, All Saints paid its Parish Share in full. The parish share is an important part of our life together: it is how ministry is funded, both here and in the church nationally. All Saints has always seen itself as a strong church. To be that, we need to be able to meet our responsibilities to the diocese and raise enough money to care for the church and work effectively in the community. Increasing our financial strength will be a key focus of our discussions in 2016, as we also discuss improving our worship space and church yard, and complete the long promised kitchen renovations.

All%Saints%Statistics% Electoral Roll: 170 
 (several new members are not yet on the roll)
 Usual Sunday Attendance: 90
 Population: 6,413 (2011)
 Key Events: too many to list… 
 Parish Share 2015: £49,329 (paid)
 Total Income 2015: £65,888
 Total Expenditure 2015: £72,171
 Assets (restricted & unrestr.) at end 2015: £57,378
 Parish Share 2016: £43,520
 Benefice Share 2016: £54,416


#

Worship Pattern: 3 - 5 services/ week. WalthamGroupChurches

walthamgroupchurches.co.uk

Profile for Kimberly Bohan

Waltham Group Annual Report 2015  

Waltham Group Annual Report 2015  

Advertisement