A year in the life of a busy Church

A churchwardens report

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2016 was, as usual, a busy year at St David’s, with many opportunities to serve God, each other, and our neighbours as we tried to live out our lives as disciples of Christ.

The PCC continued to meet regularly, and to be organised into teams so that everyone could use their particular gifts, skills and interests, and combine to fulfil the whole of the church’s ministry, and be Christ’s body in this place.

Sunday services consisting of Common Worship and BCP Holy Communions, All-age Worship, Morning Praise, Evening Praise and Evensong continued.

A new All-age Communion, with children taking part, was introduced, and two of our older girls, after a short preparatory course, were admitted into Communion.

The numbers attending Sunday services once again showed an increase on the previous year.

A Chill-Out area for parents and under 5s was available in the Lady Chapel during the 10am Sunday service.

The Thursday Holy Communion continued to be well attended and appreciated by all who attended.

There were quite a number of special services including Good Friday, Easter, Harvest, Memorial, Remembrance, Ascension Day, Ash Wednesday, Shoebox Sunday, as well as United Services. There was a good variety of Advent and Christmas services, including our best-attended service, The Christingle, and the Midnight Communion was transmitted on Hermitage FM. There was a service to which those who had been recently baptised were invited, and one to celebrate marriage, where flowers were presented to four couples celebrating their Golden Weddings.

The deanery’s Archdeacon’s Visitation service was held at St David’s.

During May we had our famous ‘Two Bishops Week’, when the church was visited by Bishop Martyn, our new Diocesan Bishop, and Bishop Stanley from the Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro and Kiteto. It was an honour to welcome them both to St David’s.

A wonderful Confirmation Service led by Bishop Martyn was held at St David’s in November with 13 candidates, 4 of whom were from our church.

In celebration of our 50th Anniversary year a new Paschal Candle holder was commissioned and ready for Easter Sunday, and the Ministers Board was put in place.

Monthly services continued at Tillson House Care Home.

Café Church thrived and was enjoyed by all who attended. It continued to provide an opportunity for retired people or people on their own to socialise and worship in an accessible way.

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Home Communion was taken to those who were house-bound or in care homes.

Some of us travelled to Leicester Cathedral in May to Bishop Martyn’s Service of Welcome, and even more of us were there in October as Jenny Holland was provisionally licensed as our Pastoral Assistant. Two wonderful occasions!

Our ministry team had to work even harder as we said goodbye to Revd Rhona Passey who retired in January and to Rev Derek Whittaker who was married in March in a joyful Spirit-filled service at St David’s, and moved to Yorkshire with his new wife.

Morning Prayer on each week-day continued to provide a good start to the day; the monthly prayer group met; some prayer triplets continued;the quarterly prayer mornings provided a welcome opportunity for quiet reflection; and a special time of prayer was held before Pentecost. All these things strengthened our prayer life and  helped to ensure that all our decisions and  initiatives are underpinned by prayer.

Home Groups continued to be invaluable ways of meeting together to learn more about God, our faith and one another and to deepen relationships. There were six regular groups and several seeker courses were held when needed.

Pastoral Link visiting continued, as did the sending of cards on special occasions, distribution of Hospital Bags, and the get-togethers for everyone. Under new leadership the Pastoral Link team looked at updating the scheme and finding new ways to build up the fellowship.

Door-to- door Parish Visiting was on-going as homes in Oakham Drive  were visited.

We continued to have working relationships with Hall Lane Methodist Church and Greenhill Community Church, having some joint services and distributing shared Easter and Christmas cards.

A new incumbent, Rev Liz Angell was appointed to our Mission Partners at Whitwick, Thringstone and Swannington. Meetings of the Mission Partnership, Cluster services and joint Lent Groups were held, and relationships were strengthened.

St David’s was a member of Coalville Churches Together with representation on the organising committee.

Sunday Club met with three regular leaders and a number of new helpers. During the summer volunteers provided activities for children in the choir vestry. The Brigade continued to meet weekly, and a small Christian drama group for teenagers began.

After School Church met every Wednesday during term time, with crafts, games, refreshments and a half-hour time of worship. There was much enthusiasm from children, their parents and carers and good relationships were built up.

After School Church

The church hosted services for Broom Leys School, Warren Hills School, CL&CGB and Heartland Youth for Christ.

Our work with young people outside the church building continued. We carried on taking Open the Book  into Warren Hills and Broom Leys Schools. It meant that well over 500 children, who might otherwise have had little or no contact with a church were hearing God’s story every fortnight. 

The after-school club Rock Solid  continued to meet at Castle Rock High School. There were additional visits to all three schools by members of St David’s for a variety of purposes, and we are  represented on the governing body of both the primary schools.

Visits were made to our Play Group and Warren Hills Nursery to tell Bible stories.

Our Child Protection Policy was updated and a Vulnerable Adults Policy began to be formulated.

There were a number of different social events to encourage fellowship between church members, some regular ones, and others included a lunch to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday and a treasure hunt.

The Golden Anniversary themed Summer Fair was a time of fun, teamwork and witness to the community, as well as a great fund-raiser, and the November Market  was a further successful fund-raising event.

Communication was maintained through the website, the magazine, posters and handouts, Facebook and Twitter. Sermons can now be found on the website and blog.  New outdoor notice boards were put place and have been well used advertising what is happening in our church. Monthly newsletters are emailed to baptism and wedding families.

St David’s was a referral agency for Food banks. The church continued to collect food donations, and members  were involved in food collections at supermarkets.

We continued to be represented within the Neighbourhood Action Group.

A Christmas Day Lunch for those who would otherwise have been alone was once again held in the church hall.

The Hall was well-used by both church groups, youth groups, charities and the community for both regular and one-off events, and the main hall was decorated.

The PCC had an away day in September to look at our Vision and Ministry, to assess where we are, and to ‘dream dreams’. During the subsequent PCC meetings  we started to prioritise these  and see haw they relate to our desire to ‘Grow in Faith and Live in Christ’. (You will be hearing much more about this from Andy very soon!)

Much was achieved in 2016, but there is still much more to be done. We are fortunate  to have so many people who are committed to the church, to each other and, above all, to God. And what a privilege it is that God has chosen us to carry out his work here! There are exciting times ahead so let’s dedicate ourselves once again to his service.  The future of this church is entrusted to us, so, together, united in one body, in the power of the Holy Spirit, let us give our all to further God’s kingdom and see his will done in this place.

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Mary Smith

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