Mission Action Planning in Christ Church
In 2013 Bishop Gregor invited every church in his charge of The Diocese of Glasgow and Galloway to undertake a substantial review and create a five year plan for growth. He entitled this initiative Growing with Gods Grace in Glasgow and Galloway and you can find full details about it on the diocesan website homepage, subtitle Mission Action Plan, click here. The Bishop also wrote a special prayer for use in church. We pray this prayer every week after our intercessions.
The Diocesan Prayer
Spirit of our loving God, in your mercy and compassion inspire, encourage and empower us to live and work together as a Congregation and as a Diocese, to allow your mission for us to take flesh, through Jesus Christ our Living and Eternal Lord. Amen
YEAR 3 MAP August 2016
The Year 3 MAP was signed off-on Sunday 28th August 2016 during the Sunday morning Eucharist. Anne McWilliam, Facilitator, Canon David Bayne, Priest-in-Charge, the Reverend Mark Smith, Assistant Priest, Edith Thorp, MAP Co-ordinator and Sue Thomas, Vestry Secretary signed-off the document, which was placed on the altar as an offering of our intention.
Click on the link below to read our Year 3 document:
Year 2 MAP Review March 2015 – March 2016
THE VISIT OF BISHOP GREGOR ON THE OCCASION OF THE MAP REVIEW FOR 2015
On Tuesday March 8th 2016 Bishop Gregor visited us at Dalbeattie to undertake our Year 2 Review. On his arrival at 11.00 am he presided over our morning Eucharist, after which he dropped into the Hall to see the Hard of Hearing Clinic in action. This was followed by a simple sandwich and fruit lunch. The meeting started at 1.15 pm with a short introduction by the Bishop stating the aims and what he hoped would be achieved.
Keith Dennison then welcomed the Bishop and presented a review giving highlights of what had been undertaken and achieved during the year.
“On behalf of Christ Church, I would like to welcome you Bishop Gregor. It is always a pleasure to have you amongst us and thank you for giving us a day in your very busy life. We would like to share the major events of the Christ church year with you.
We decided at the start of the church year to take forward several MAP projects. These were to improve our welcoming of congregation and visitors, to finish the lighting project as far as we were able to go at the present time and to further the rebuilding of the porch/tower project.
The welcoming began immediately by initially opening both outer doors to make the church seem more inviting. A list of church volunteers was established to man the door before services and give a warm welcome to participants. Tea and coffee and biscuits are provided at the end of services for those who wish to stay and commune with each other. These relatively simple changes have met with approval over the last year and improved the camaraderie of Christ Church, and certainly have been well accepted by visitors.
The first phase of the lighting project was completed in the spring of 2015. It gave us eight new nave spotlights switchable in two fours, new chancel spotlights, dimmers on the six hanging nave lights and new switching in individual pairs, as well as several strategically placed power sockets. We also fitted lights to the lectern and pulpit. These lighting improvements have very much improved the ability to see and be seen in the church and are a great success during our worship times. It is now very much easier to read text and music even on the darkest winter days and to add mood to services when needed.
The Vestry decided to defer the acquisition of a new notice board until after the building work on the new porch was completed, since it would just have to be taken down again once the work began. Advertising the church has continued with notices placed on the main exterior door and there is a banner on the outer railings to make our presence known in the town. Both of these simple ideas have been a great success in manifesting our existence in the town.
The tower project is slowly moving forwards. Following the initial discovery of dry rot and its subsequent treatment it was discovered that the roof needed to be replaced. Unfortunately, the upper tower structure was not strong enough to take the weight of a pitched roof so it was decided it would be better to remove the upper tower and create a new pitched roof over the porch. All the necessary permissions have been obtained and we are now awaiting the costings from the Diocesan architect. These will be put out to tender in due course. We are hoping to obtain grants to help with the work from several sources once we have the costs. Included in the project is a disabled ramp for easier disabled access to the church. This of course represents a further development in our outreach to make disabled and elderly access to the church easier.
Following several essential repairs, the Rectory has been let once again and the present tenants seem satisfactory and happy with their new home.
The Revd Canon David Bayne remains as our Priest in Charge of Christ Church and he has been supported by Revd Beryl Scott and Reader Emeritus Brian Woodburn. However, in the summer Mark Smith, who helped us out on several Sundays, began to take regular services and in the late summer was appointed as part time priest. He now shares taking the main service on Sunday with Canon David and occasionally the Sunday service is taken by one of the local retired locum priests from the area. The fact that we share and have visiting priests taking the services for us is a very great gift and inspires the congregation with a variety of different speakers and Christian thoughts from many perspectives. The linking of Christ Church with St Ninian’s Castle Douglas is a very positive way forward and should secure the future of Christ Church in Dalbeattie for some time to come.
There have been several meetings with Churches Together this year and one of the highlights was the “Civic Praze” in Colliston Park in August attended by about seventy people. This was much enjoyed by all who took part and accompanied by much hymn singing and prayers. It was deemed to be a great success.
The Good Friday act of worship and witness that we hold at The Cross in Dalbeattie has continued to draw in members of other denominations. We were delighted last year that you joined us Bishop Gregor and indeed it was a privilege that you were with us during Holy Week to lead us on our spiritual journey to Easter.
In terms of further enhancement of services and outreach there are many things happening within Christ Church. We continue to be blessed with our volunteer organist Maggie. She continues to contribute to and enliven our weekly services with her musical expertise. We also have a small singing group led by Maggie, which continues to meet on a fairly regular basis preparing music for the various land marks in the church’s year.
There are three regular house study groups run by Beryl, Brian and Edith and one Julian group which meets monthly. These groups attract participating members from other churches and are a valuable outreach into the community. The groups have proved popular over the years and provoke friendship, trust and companionship and assist in our journeys in faith.
There is also a small, hardworking craft group producing a range of crafty items in sewing, knitting, painting and more. One of their products is the healing blankets which are blessed in church and available to anyone needing them. I understand that over forty have been produced up to now.
The craft group also provides goods for the thrice yearly coffee mornings held by Christ Church. The spring plant sale held in Dalbeattie town hall is very popular and has many plants for sale supplied by members of the church. In summer we have a similar sale/coffee morning held at Colvend. This attracts many of the holiday visitors to the area and gives us a new audience. Finally, in late autumn the winter Bazaar held once more in Dalbeattie town hall is normally a great success.
These meetings are a tremendous outreach into the community and as well as providing us with funds they give Christ Church members a lot of satisfaction.
We have a weekly collection of food supplies which are blessed in Church and given to the local food bank.
For twenty years Christ Church has provided hospital bags for patients at Dumfries Infirmary. Unfortunately, due to infection control this is no longer possible. The surplus toiletries have been donated to the Wigtownshire Women’s Refuge. We are grateful to Jenny Edkins and her band of helpers for their work over many years.
Every Lent Christ Church holds a series of lunch time soup and get-together meetings. These events are to raise money for Bishop Gregor’s Lent Appeal. This year is no exception and we continue to attract visitors from local churches and the district in general.
In the summer there is a series of afternoon teas which have proved to be very popular with Christ Church members and others in past years. I am sure that these will continue to be just as well-attended this year.
The website continues to run well due to Sue’s ministrations and we also have a face-book page. Muriel continues to produce a very regular, professionally produced church magazine which is very informative. This year she has been joined by Miranda. These factors all help to raise Christ Church awareness and our profile in the area.
We have a continuance of the monthly hard of hearing Group led by Jennie. This provides people with a repair service for their hearing aids and also a chat, a cup of tea and a biscuit for clients and non-clients as well. It is very well attended and provides a much-needed amenity for the community
Two of the local nursing homes have a monthly visit. The Revd. Beryl Scott offers a communion service for the residents of Barlochan nursing home on the Palnackie road.
Keith, Julie Edith and Alfred lead a service at Munches Park Nursing home in Dalbeattie every month, accompanied by several other Christ Church members. We are grateful to Maggie for playing the keyboard for us. We provide a Service with prayers, bible readings, and much singing of hymns. I must admit that I have been greatly moved on many occasions by the warmth, gratitude and love created by this spiritual time together, both for the residents and the organisers of the Services.
In general I feel that the members of Christ Church continue their Outreach into the local Dalbeattie community in all these many different ways.
I believe that despite our reduction in numbers the despondency we felt over the last two years has greatly lifted and long may it continue to do so. Of course it is marvellous to have David, Beryl, Brian and now Mark to continue our regular worship and as I mentioned previously we are also blessed with visiting local locum priests on occasions and of course we are always delighted to welcome you Bishop. Each priest has brought their individually unique gifts, talents and ministries to our services, greatly uplifting our spirituality and leading to a steady progression forward in our faith and worship and in the life of Christ in Christ Church Dalbeattie.”
Following Keith’s presentation, Sue Thomas gave a slide presentation illustrating events of the past year. This was combined with a light hearted quiz in which members were invited to answer questions in multiple choice format relating to some of the achievements of the past year.
The Bishop’s comments
The Bishop expressed his gratitude for the presentations which he had found encouraging. He asked a question concerning the audit which had not appeared on the agenda. Sue stated that there had not been time to tackle this in addition to other work and the Bishop agreed that it would have been a formidable task and perhaps it should be taken off the agenda in future. This was agreed.
The Bishop mentioned that grant help was available from the diocese for projects and that the Vestry should consider how this might be used.
He asked what the congregation had found the most encouraging and the most discouraging events of the past year. Answers to the first included the visiting clergy in particular Bishop Gordon Mursell and the work taken on by the Rev Mark Smith. The most discouraging event had been the discovery of dry rot in the tower. David Bayne said he had noticed an increase in positive attitude shown by the congregation.
Sue Thomas mentioned that church music had been a great joy and paid tribute to Maggie for work done with the music group. Sue also mentioned that an Away Day was being planned and the Bishop suggested that an application for funding to help with the costs of this should be considered.
The Bishop asked: ‘what have you learned about yourselves, the congregation and God?’ The answer to this was somewhat inconclusive : it was thought that the ‘community had changed for the better.’
There was discussion regarding a link charge, a curate and David’s retirement.
At the end of the meeting we all shared tea and MAP cake, prepared by Muriel and Sue, together. The cake was duly cut by The Bishop and Canon Bayne to much laughter. The day was both a pleasure and a success and has given us due thought for the future.