Rev Deborah’s report to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting was read at the 9.45 service on Sunday 24 April – the day of our APCM. Here it is again for you.
The APCM is a time to look back and reflect on the year, giving thanks to God for all that has happened and also a time to look to the future and what we would like to see happening in the coming year.
Once again it has been a challenging year, with our church family gradually regaining confidence in returning to our churches both for worship and social activities.
So, what have we done in the past year in terms of worship?
When we have been unable to worship in our church buildings we have relied on technology, both pre-recorded and live streamed services, together with daily Peregrini morning prayer and Compline and our monthly services of wholeness and well-being.
As restrictions were gradually lifted, we were able to resume services such as wholeness and well-being and have started evening prayer (BCP). Thank you to Sue and Carol O for co-ordinating these. We have continued to have a ‘hybrid’ mix of both worship in church and on-line. It has also been good to see the number of people who have accessed our on-line services both here and abroad showing that on-line worship is a good means of mission. We have continued to develop this further through the skills, talents and enthusiasm of our ALM for digital technology, Carol Porter.
A particular highlight for our parish this year was the licensing of Revd Sue in September, as our associate priest. It has been lovely to see her blossom and grow.
There are so many people I would like to thank. I would particularly like to thank Laurel and David as church wardens at St. Margaret’s and Joan at St. George’s, supported by Carol K and Barbara A for whom much of the responsibility for keeping our churches open and safe has fallen upon and the extra responsibilities that they have borne. I would also like to thank the ministry team, Sue, Christine, Carol O, Carol P and Andrew G who have done so much in terms of our worship both on-line and in our building. Thank you to Carol Porter for both her digital and musical skills that have enabled us to worship in different ways. Thank you to Tom for his musical ability and his work with Maggie’s Music Makers and to ‘new Tom.’ Thank you to the PCC for their continued support and encouragement.
I would like to thank Anne and Danni for their work on our finances, to Angela for auditing the accounts, to Hedley and Angela for their work on gift aid and stewardship and to those who count the money. Thank you to Joan Evans for her role as PCC secretary, to Jacqui and Andrew for their role in safeguarding and to all those who have taken on additional roles throughout the year. Most of all I would like to thank all our church family for their continued support to St. Margaret and St. George’s and for your love of God and support for one another. We the body of Christ in this area of Prestwich and Simister. It is good to be part of this Christian community here as we all seek to follow Christ through our welcome, worship, fellowship, and service.
Our mission action plan over the past year has been a time to pause, pray and prepare. A time to pause has been the opportunity to take stock, to reflect and review on where we are as a church family, to provide spiritual emotional and pastoral support and to provide worship in a variety of ways to increase accessibility and be more missional.
A time to pray linked very much into this, with the opportunity to look backwards and forwards and to pray for God’s guidance for the future. This past year we have entered a recovery phase and there have been signs of hope and growth for the future.
A time to prepare has been the opportunity to reshape and think through what we might need to do for the future. To prepare for mission and ministry both in church and digitally, a hybrid mixture of worship, to re-establish fellowship and social times and explore how we can reach out to our local community.
So, what about this current year? We have designated this as 2022: Building community together.
‘For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. Romans 12: 4-6
Our focus is particularly on
- Building relationships in our Mission Community
- Further develop digital technology within our Church and Community
- Explore what it means to be an Inclusive Church
- Working together to achieve our silver Award as an Eco Church
- Strengthening and supporting one another in our Church Community
It is a time for us to build on community in its widest sense, including the environment. Just as Easter is a time of hope and resurrection, 2022: building community together is a sign of hope and with risen Christ working within us and the communities in which we are involved.
Romans 15: 5-7 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.