During October and November I shall be at each Sunday service across the parish to speak about our new parish values: inclusive, life-giving, generous. One of the questions that has already arisen is about the meaning of the words: what do we mean when we use the word ‘inclusive’, for example. Rather than provide a dictionary definition of each of these words, I would like to encourage you to explore what you think they mean and, more importantly, how our life together, as follows of Jesus, can be further enhanced by keeping them in our minds eye. Having a set of values words is only worthwhile if we hold them before us when we are planning, preparing and praying. These are words which help define the path we are travelling, where we have come from and where we are going. Please use these words in your conversations about our churches (and our parish); offer them to God in your prayers for one another, for those in need and for places of struggle around the world; set them before you like a watchword and a plumbline, allowing them to hold us fast to the truths we proclaim and share and live—that the good news of God, made known in Jesus of Nazareth is inclusive, life-giving and generous.
How do I (and the other clergy, our admin staff, Wardens, Church Leadership Teams, PCC and a myriad of other groups and teams across the parish) enable you to know what’s going on? Are we open enough about the items that are going to be discussed and clear enough about what has been discussed? I suspect the answer to that question may be ‘No’. So my other question is: How can we improve our communications with you about what you want to know about? This is a real old chestnut, but none the less important for all that. If you have any ideas about how to improve communication within the parish and across the churches please do not keep them to yourself! Please let me have your thoughts.
Two Bits of Housekeeping
Admin Alex Humphreys will soon be working in the Parish Office on her own. Her working days are … and the office will be open from 9.30am to 12.00noon. Alex can be contacted on 0118 947 1703 and email@example.com. Please speak with Alex about all matters relating to all Sunday news sheets, Church House and Caversham Bridge. Caroline Smith will then be based in the Parish Rooms (next to the Rectory) and can be reached using 0118 947 9505 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Caroline will take on more parish administration and will provide some support for me.
PCC For those on the PCC, you will know that the meeting on Wednesday 16 November has been postponed so that those of us on Deanery Synod can go to the Synod meeting called that evening (St Matthew’s Southcote, 7.30pm). The PCC will now meet in St Peter’s Church on Wednesday 23 November at 7.45pm
With my very best wishes,