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Partnership for Missional Church

Partnership for Missional Church (PMC) can re-awaken our ability to notice God in our lives and in our history, in people and places, in what is happening around us; our ability to notice where God is and what God is doing. In short, PMC can re-sensitize us to God, when and where we need it.

In March 2015 Bishop Andrew asked the Parish of Caversham, Thameside and Mapledurham to become part of the Berkshire Pilot for Partnership for Missional Church or PMC along with about 10 other benefices. PMC is not designed to provoke drastic and immediate changes in the way we do things but to allow us to listen more closely to what God is calling us to do in a gradual way, to nurture our faith and enhance our Christian community.

It is a lay-led programme with spiritual support from our clergy. It is not a 6 week wonder; it is programmed to run for 3 years. In line with our mission statement PMC is inclusive, i.e. it embraces everyone and, God willing, it will also be generous and life-giving.

Some people will be a little fearful that PMC, like a new broom, will sweep away everything that we hold dear. That is not what it is all about. It is about finding out the good things that work and the not-so-good that don’t so that we can do what we are doing better, not throw it out.

Read more about year one…

Year two

What’s God up to? How can we join him?

Last year we were project and task based gathering information on what we felt about our churches and where we are at the moment. And it was a full-on year.

At an away day in September 2016 the PCC, the church leadership and PMC steering teams chose a challenge. Briefly, God has shown us a need among the lonely or isolated people in our community and we aim to walk alongside them, building a community where everybody grows in love. Since this was chosen there has been much in the media about the problems that loneliness can cause.

Coincidentally the Caversham Methodists who are also involved in the PMC process came up with a very similar challenge. As we share the same area in Caversham we decided to see if we could work together and we now have one combined team of 8 people, the missional innovation team (MIT) which is working on the challenge. Obviously in this first challenge it would be an impossible task to walk alongside all the lonely people so they are trying to identify a group that they feel they are being called to work with. They are also looking for partners in the community with whom they will be able to work co-operatively.

The steering team meantime is promoting aspects of Christian fellowship and relationships, the caring, sharing things that Jesus urged us to do, intentionally noticing people, listening and paying attention to them, finding those with whom you could perhaps strike up a relationship, maybe with someone you know but only by sight or with brief conversation, not just within the congregation but within the community. We are learning to ‘listen’ to the Bible and discover how it ‘speaks’ to us.

This year is also about giving and receiving hospitality. It’s about noticing where God is at work again both in the church and in the community and being able to tell each other. God is at work all the time around us but we are not good at noticing.

We will be introducing these ideas over the coming months.