Staff Away Days

Well we’re back! Did you miss us??!!

Seriously though, we had a really productive time away, looking at some of the areas that we believe that God is calling to grow as a church. It was also a good time for the staff team to spend together and consider how things are without a church centre any more. We did one of those “adventurous” walks through fields and trying to get ourselves lost which was good to see how we reacted!

The way forward for some of what we discussed will be that some of these (the ones that we feel are “ripest” and most developed in thinking) will be discussed at PCC on the 16th July. The PCC is a great body to discuss in as it allows a sanity check before rolling things out and part of their role is to test and see if the things suggested are a) in line with God’s call on us as a Church,  b) sensible  and c) clear and understandable. It allows us to review and refine ideas and make them better and the PCC is such a good cross-section of the church to look at things with.

So, some of the areas that we will be discussing at the next PCC meeting will include such things as River Ministries, Church Centre, Emerge and our working with the wider church. We were able to come up with some good plans in these areas that we want to test first of all with the PCC and then share with the wider church.

Some of the ideas that we came up with surprised us! For example, in the case of the Church Centre we did a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and we aren’t certain that we should go for a Centre at all at the moment! This is one of the areas where it will be good to get feedback from people before any decisions are cast in stone.

There were some things that we recognised that would be sad not to have or that cause problems. These included access to the office, the potential for staff isolation, days of prayer etc. But what was surprising when we considered it was that there appeared to be a whole number of things that might well benefit the church. These included forcing us to focus on people in the community – we have already seen the growing popularity of cafe connect, greater flexibility, having more people using resources for days of prayer etc.

One thing that we did notice was that we know of no-one who has joined the church as a result of having had the centre (although some have come to holiday club or joined Tiptoes). So, one of things that we must ask ourselves is how much is a centre worth to us? The cost of a new centre is likely to be about £10,000 per annum and we need to make sure that this would be good value for money.

So, what do you think? Why do you think that we should or shouldn’t have a church centre?

Below are some photos from our days away (click on a picture if you want to see a larger version)


7 comments on “Staff Away Days

  1. angela Hope
    July 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

    I do have mixed feeling about not having a church centre. I think it is a friendly link to our more vulnerable members as a safe refuge if they are feeling lonely and need a reason to get out of the house and talk with people they are familiar with, having said that it is very inclusive so if we could find a way of addressing this and serving other vulnerable people in the community that would certainly be a way forward.
    ps the venue looked amazing and you all deserve some time out for reflection
    Angela Hope

  2. Will Cookson
    July 9, 2012 at 10:50 am #


    Thank you for your feedback. Very useful. It does appear that more people are coming to Cafe Connect at the moment and maybe things like this allow for those inside and outside the Church to have a place?

    I think that this is one of those areas that we are trying gently to understand all the different needs clearly and see what we are being called to do. That is why it is so good to get feedback and thoughts from people.

  3. Diana Ray-mathur
    July 9, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

    At cafe connect this morning there was a lady sitting by herself who was spoken to by two of our ladies spoke to her. This would not have happened if we had not been in the library coffee shop. It was a good link.

  4. Angela Baker
    July 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Hi Will,
    I like the pics of the away-break. The venue looks nice – where is it?

    I too have mixed feelings about not having a centre. A couple of my more senior friends at Springfield have felt that they don’t want to see Springfield becoming a ‘virtual’ church in the sense that we rely on e-mail etc to keep in touch with each other, & it is beginning to feel a bit like that. I’m an advocate of e-mail/FB etc, but would never want it to replace proper contact.

    Btw, as an aside, they also commented on the need to put contact details for Cell events on the news-sheet, & not just point people in the direction of the Website. To do the latter would alienate those who don’t have access to a PC.

    I liked having the town-centre presence in Wallington, if only as an ‘advert’ or ‘signpost’ to point people to the real church, (the membership). Are there not any disused offices etc that we could make an offer for & refurbish? (The Square springs to mind).

    God bless,
    Angela x

  5. Will Cookson
    July 10, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    Thanks for the comments, they’re really helpful – keep them coming!

    Just a quick comment on the “virtual” church etc. I think that we are very conscious that some don’t have email and computer access and that is why we try and provide information every which way (that definitely includes cell events as we have phone directories and lists of cells in paper form available as well as cells often providing invitations). Springfield is definitely not a virtual church and I cannot ever seeing it become so!

    • Angela Baker
      July 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

      Thanks Will, that’s very reassuring to know. I’m glad you’ve clarified that.
      God bless,
      Angela x

  6. Sandykin
    July 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm #

    Well my reasons for having a church centre are personal! However I do think it is important to have a presence in the town, lots of people I speak to could identify with the church centre as I was repeatedly saying we don,t have a building but you can call in………etc. I also liked the fact that we had a computer for people to use to access the website etc. I think we need somewhere but not like what we had, something different………….Here,s your cue God!

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