Mission Action Plan Review
In Spring 2021, the St Andrew’s Church family undertook a vision setting exercise, leading to the development of a Mission Action Plan (MAP.) Our key areas for development are expressed in our ‘5 Ships:’
Worship Loving God through praise and prayer Fellowship Welcoming radically, encouraging inclusion and embracing diversity Discipleship Growing as God’s family, developing as followers of Jesus Kinship Engaging deeply with local and global community, seeking justice and establishing peace Stewardship Caring for God’s creation, and using our resources courageously
This review describes the journey we have travelled, and where the next stage of the journey might be taking us.
Just a few of the things we have achieved as a Church family in the last 18 months as a result of our MAP:
Re-establishing ecumenical links post COVID, arranging joint services with other Churches and Bedford school.
Developing the ‘St Andrew’s Visitors,’ people whose ministry is to make visits to those who are in hospital or house bound. Please do let Lucy or Joseph know if you or anyone you know might value a visit.
Encouraging vocations in the widest sense, by producing a Welcome Pack, and revising our committee structure to enable more people to offer their gifts.
Hosting a Warm Room during Winter 2022 / 2023, which saw over 300 visits, with guests enjoying a warm welcome and warm drinks, while blessing the 30 volunteers hosts hugely.
Reducing our carbon footprint by turning down the thermostat in Church, replacing some lighting with LED bulbs and fitting solar panels.
The next stage of our MAP journey includes:
Developing opportunities for informal prayer, with resources and suggestions for visitors at the back of Church.
Continuing to develop an inclusive culture of Church, including study sessions on specific areas of inclusion, and introducing fresh welcome signs.
Appointing a part time Children’s Worker, to minister alongside Elisabeth Sutcliffe, bringing our provision for families up to the full time equivalent post it has been in our budget.
Working with Citizens of Bedford to tackle local issues around the Real Living Wage and homelessness.
Achieving our silver Eco Church award by introducing composting of kitchen waste, and continuing to monitor and reduce our energy usage.
At our meeting in July 2023, the PCC identified three key priorities for this stage of St Andrew’s communal life:
Children’s Discipleship. We are blessed with an unusually large number of children in our Church family. We need to continue to develop our ministry and see them flourish in faith and number.
Community Engagement. We have many opportunities to transform our local community for the better. We need to discern where we are being called to join in and make a difference for the sake of the Kingdom.
Culture of Inclusion. We have the joy of being a diverse congregation. We need to continue to ensure all people are welcomed and feel that they belong, regardless of age, background or how long they have been at St Andrew’s.
We recognise that these priorities will need to be underpinned by releasing financial and other resources.
Our MAP helps us to focus on particular areas of development. It does not reflect the whole mission of the Church, or those vital areas of established ministry which are ongoing.
The full MAP is on our website. Some of our aims have concrete actions, while others remain simply as aims. We ask all members of the Church family to pray for the MAP, to see where they might contribute, and to speak to any member of the PCC with ideas, thoughts or stirrings of the Holy Spirit.