All Saints' Orpington
Letter From The Vicar
At our Annual Meeting in April I gave a presentation in which I sought to demonstrate how in the course of the last year we have made great strides forward in respect of our parish objectives. I have summarised the objectives in brackets below. · We have significantly used the resources of Common Worship, the Church of England's modern liturgies, to enrich our worship [enriching the liturgy]. · We have two candidates in training for authorised Lay Ministry and one potential ordinand (a trainee priest) [encouraging vocations]. · There have been enthusiastic and well attended Little Bit of Theology meetings, Advent and Lent Group meetings and the Julian spirituality group [deepening our faith]. · Our ministry with young people (Kingfishers, Heaven, Tots and the Parade Services) has expanded considerably [our work with young people]. · We have significant involvement in the life of the town, notably the schools, the Royal British Legion and the Emergency Services [outreach to Orpington].
But I went on to say that we could do so much more. Here is a list of suggestions and proposals, which I and other members of the church have made, since I came to All Saints'.
A weekday evening Eucharist
Experimental worship on, for example, Sunday evenings (to attract young people)
Encouraging vocations to priestly and lay ministry. Why stop with two lay ministers in training and one potential ordinand?
Deepening our faith
Talks, study days and workshops
More House Groups & Prayer Groups
Pilgrimages, quiet days and retreats
A course for people new to faith
Young people and children
An after school club
"All Age worship"
A holiday club
A youth group
Coffee mornings in church
Involvement in the Harris Hospice
A church stall in the High Street
Involvement in ICARE (stroke care)
Involvement in care homes
More involvement in organisations in the town
Putting up posters in shops and on notice boards
Involvement in the Street Pastors scheme
How are we to get there? I said that we need more ministers - ordained and lay - and we are on the case about that. We have two lay ministers in training and a potential ordinand. I hope that some clergy will be able to assist us part time. Finally I am hopeful that by the summer of 2014 we will either have a curate or an associate priest (an experienced priest) working with us.
Meanwhile I said that we should take comfort from the remarks of the Reverend Sydney Smith in the early 19th century - It is the greatest mistake of all to do nothing because you can only do a little. Do what you can!