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A whole-church forum

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Sustainable Circuit

When All Saints held its Future Focus discussions in 2018, we were looking ahead, we thought, to what kind of church we wanted to be. We were aware that our membership was lower than it had been in the past, and we wanted to prepare for the future. That future is now with us.

As Revd Keith Underhill wrote to the Circuit last summer,

Issues that we knew would need addressing sometime in the coming years, (which had previously been just over the horizon and out of sight) are now courtesy of the pandemic slap-bang on our doorstep, demanding our attention and our collective responses. We cannot escape the fact that many of the questions about the future are closely tied up with practical issues to do with finance and resources.

These issues are familiar to us all:

  • A shortage of presbyters in the Connexion as a whole means that our Circuit, even with its current membership levels, is unlikely to retain its present staffing level.
  • Fewer staff mean that more tasks fall on volunteers, or must be outsourced and paid for.
  • Ageing memberships mean that it becomes harder and harder to find volunteers with the health and energy to take on routine roles in the churches.

There are also new opportunities:

  • The pandemic has taught us the importance of digital technology, not only for connecting our current members but for reaching those outside the church.
  • New building around every town and village opens a potential mission field on our doorsteps.

Keith says:

At the core of what lies before us are profound questions around who we are; what our mission to our communities is and what kind of church/Circuit God is calling us to be.

He asks us to share our thoughts, hopes, visions and fears, and to report back to the Circuit by March this year. Some groups at All Saints (the Quest and Tubb house groups, Just Women and the Men's Group) have already discussed some of these questions. Saturday 29 January is our opportunity as a whole church to come together and debate the issues as they relate to God's church in Abingdon.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting is encouraged to write to or email Revd Ian Griffiths by Thursday 27 January, so their thoughts can be added to the discussion.

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01235 520282

All Saints Methodist Church
Appleford Drive
OX14 2AQ

There is free parking in our car park behind the Church in Dorchester Crescent.

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