This morning at Springfield Church I made the following announcement:
As many of you know, besides being Minister of Springfield Church I am also Dean of Fresh Expressions in Southwark Diocese. The role there is aimed at helping churches in the diocese start new congregations/ ministries and churches that reach out to the unchurched and dechurched.
The diocese has recently won a bid from the Church Commissioners for nearly £1 million to invest in fresh expressions of Church and in a major church plant in the 9 elms area. The diocese has matched funded this with nearly £1 million of their own money. The Bishop of Southwark has asked me to go full time as Dean of Fresh Expressions to help with the work on that side of the bid.
After a lot of prayer and thought I have accepted his offer.
This has not been an easy decision. Last year the idea was discussed for my going full time and I chose to stay part-time with Jane as my curate. The difference is that part-time is no longer on offer and the money from the church commissioners requires more work to be put into the role. I believe that with all we have learnt and done together over the past 14 years together that God is calling me to use that experience with the wider Church.
Springfield Church is the most amazing Church and I don’t think that half of you realise how unique you are! Everyone who has been on placement over the years has remarked on that. The number and strength of leaders, how many participate and the commitment of you to seeing God’s Kingdom grow.
Normally, nothing would happen until Angie and I leave. But in the light of Jane being in her first year of curacy, Chris Skilton (our Archdeacon) has agreed to start the process. There will therefore be an extra PCC meeting on the 8th December at 8pm where Chris Skilton will advise you on the next steps.
Obviously, in matters of your next Minister I won’t be involved but I would like to say a couple of general things.
I have been crystal clear through the process of our Mission Action Plan that these are not my ideas – but rather the Church’s. So ,we undertook two surveys, we had an away day in which the five key areas were agreed, three days away where a good number of leaders worked to make these key areas a reality and a full discussion of the PCC. Why am I re-iterating this? Because with a clear vision, values and goals you will be able to expedite the process with Chris Skilton.
So our vision is:
We seek to be a beacon of hope in our community; passionate about growing like Jesus in our lives, worship and witness.
We have our 5 values that motivate us:
- All Involved
- Becoming disciples
- Creating community
- Doing mission
- Encountering God
And we have our 5 goals for the next five years:
- Passionate spirituality clearly expressed through lifestyle, worship and words
- Springfield being a beacon of hope through presence and action in the community
- Inspirational Cells/ Missional Communities engaged in mission involving 90% of Springfield
- Children and their families growing in faith and numbers, using their gifts
- Young people growing in bold faith and numbers, knowing their value
I will remain focused in the next three months on delivering your vision and leaving you as prepared as I can for the future that lies ahead. Angie and I’s last Sunday will be Sunday 26th February. We currently don’t know where we are moving to but will let you know when we do!
As you work with the Archdeacon, Chris Skilton, and Bishop Jonathan, the Bishop of Croydon do please remember that they want the best for you. They will be using their insights and wisdom to help you find a Minister that will help Springfield grow and thrive. The diocese holds Springfield in high regard and values your commitment and all that you do.
Next Sunday evening we have our Shalom service. This is a perfect opportunity for Springfield to come together to pray about he future and a new Minister. So, can I encourage as many of you as possible to come together to pray. The staff team will be leading the service.
Although this is a bolt out of the blue for many of you do remember that we have a faithful God. I firmly believe that the best is yet to come for Springfield and I will be praying for you as you seek God. Please do pray for Angie and I as we go through this transition as well.