What’s most important to us (May 2017)

Bookmark and Share

The vision statement for the church, which has been at the front of our Parish News for a while now, is ‘Reaching out with Christ to all’.  We recognise the importance of reaching out, because the alternative, to retreat behind closed doors and just focus on ourselves, is a recipe for the church to wither and die.  We reach out in much of the worship we do as a church, but also in all the work of our Community Outreach Project, Monday to Thursday each week.  It’s only by reaching out that we will be connected with the community, and able to develop and grow.

We reach out through inviting people to attend the different activities we lay on, but also through collaboration with other agencies in the community.  For example, the food and activities we provide for families in the school holiday would not be possible if we hadn’t collaborated with other agencies, such as the Foodbank, Local Councillors, the Adventure Playground, PCSOs, Tesco’s, the Library, Early years workers from the Children’s Centre, local allotment holders, and local schools.

 Another important feature of the work we do as a church is to teach people about the Christian faith, and teaching children Christian values and principles through assemblies, through school trips to visit the church buildings, through school services held in church are all part of that. We have built a good relationship with all 6 of the schools in Blacon.  We also go into all 5 Primaries to conduct assemblies, I occasionally are invited to conduct lessons to classes on topics like the Bible, or Communion. 

All this is part of our reaching out with Christ.  And it’s the second part of that phrase that we must never overlook or ignore.  It is Christ we reach with.  We are not here just to be a fun place for people to come for a meal or for activities.  The reason we put on such things on for people is because we want to make Christ visible.  All the different things that happen to reach out to the community are with the deliberate intention of making God’s love and Christ’s death and resurrection known.  We can’t help people to know how much God loves them unless we connect with them.  But equally we can’t help people to know God’s love if we ourselves don’t know it, and we are not consciously intentional about serving Him. 

Building connections to the community, and all we do as a church, is only secondary to our most important function as a church – to pray and worship and tell others how God loved the world so much that he sent his Son Jesus to die for us, and raised him from the dead on the third day that we might be forgiven our sins.

Reaching out WITH CHRIST to all is an ongoing process, that we are all learning more of day by day.  It is something we all of us need to grow in, and so prayer has to be the root of all that we do.

Tina Upton