Mission, the building and process… your thoughts:

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All hallows’ thoughts and feelings arising out of the all-church day in June looking at mission, the building & process, in order of ‘Questions, Ideas and Comments

QUESTIONS:

The people at the margins and those not at the margins- these are who we are here for Can we hire other buildings to help us serve them?

I think we should act like there’s not much time left. How important is it to us that others hear the message about Jesus Christ?

Does the local community want/need this building to be here? If not can we share another church’s building?

If talking to each other is difficult about faith, then how do we do it to outsiders?

Why don’t we join with Left Bank and put our ‘tent’ up there?

If mission is about creative energy, what feeds this energy? What drains this energy?

Mission: We need a café to share hospitality in. We need a room to meet and share worship in. Does this have to be in this building?

Jesus sent the disciples out travelling light – with the minimum of possessions. Is a building a heavy burden to carry?

The stats on poverty tell us:we have high child poverty, high social housing, high lone parenthood (ish), high ethnic diversity (ish). What might these lead us to?

Is it possible that there are some dissident voices not being heard because their opinion is seen as “ye of little faith” or the opinion is seen as negative e.g. we don’t have the people or energy for a big building campaign

What are our responsibilities to those who use the building?

What about social enterprise?

Remember others use the building. Can we link to the Methodists?

What is our priority in mission – then where locate? E.g. to gay people, to marginalised people, to local people. How can we listen to shopkeepers and also to those in the congregation?

Can we do more outside church on Sunday to help the community?

What do the local community think the church space could be used for?

Can we make this building sustainable?

Are there the people here who will use this building – does the community want this building?

What has been decided so far by the PCC and how does our contribution today relate to this?

Join Left Bank?

What used to go on all the time – so many things raising money used to happen – why not now?

What were people’s experiences of worshiping in the café? Could we worship in a school hall?

IDEAS

We need some teaching on basics of faith

Religious literacy Resourcing people to be confident talking about faith

Noticing & Naming. Opening up and revealing where my energy is going. How to capture this and pour energy into AH

Mission is about being and doing with and for other people

Mission is celebration and large events: e.g. from our past – with Turkish Muslims, Arch dancing, Pat’s funeral, weddings (eg Clare’s) … civil partnership(s). We need large space (like pubs used to be when people had small homes)

Children: Need to reach out better to our own children and to children in the parish. Most adults who come to church had some connection as a child

My thoughts condensed: 1) no one is ready to think in terms of losing the building
2) business as usual will lose the building maybe with a few years delay but we have nothing currently to attract funders, church giving is high per person and for church growth to solve anything we’d need be looking at a tripling of the congregation (nice idea but not realistic)
3) the building as it is actually underused but we lack resources to either find new users or put on our own events (NB most folks looking to use venue like ours will be looking for a freebie or at best covering heating/lighting costs,  for  business users a caretaker to open up/someone to take tea and coffee in mid meeting would make the great difference ) 4) funders generally want something new/exciting and short term. Maintaining a status quo doesn’t attract funding. Proposal: we set up group to look at spaces like 7 arts centre, otley courthouse , left bank etc. to see how their use of space can be a model for us. The courthouse is the example I know best – 90% volunteer run, community feel, regular cafe, arts events, craft fairs, gigs, youth events, even a church meeting there on a Sunday (or was until recently), there is a distinctive all hallows flavour we would need to add. (I’d suggest to that group that the way forward would involve appointing community worker/funding bid organiser/caretaker/community project worker/events co-ordinator – a complex many hat role or one the group may wish to narrow down somewhat)   this isn’t just suggesting bait for funders rather something that is a consistent expansion of the all hallows vision and would need to be developed with care.


Perhaps no building to maintain could release more energy to focus on those we seek to serve and build community with each other.

Pray for God’s leading and direction

Ring the bell & people will come

Building – mutual attention needed, not servant/master analogy. Something sad about neglecting the building.

‘Incredible edibles’ in Hyde Park led by AH

What might be the financial and emotional cost/benefit of demolish and rebuild instead of patch up?

Compare with looking at a shed/house/garden – the building speaks to area about VALUE

History of All Hallows – one of first churches in Leeds – building is important historically.

Let’s help each other by: asking what we do that we think is ‘mission’ away from All Hallows; affirming that mission; talking to each other about that mission. Thinking about the balance of our individual ‘missions’ in and out of the All Hallows space

Telling the story to those who haven’t heard it yet. Could we improve our ‘religious literacy’ by talking to each other about key issues? Perhaps this could be a Lent course? Example: “Why does God allow suffering in the world?” is quite a common comment from the secular world. Might it be a good idea to ‘rehearse’ our answer to this? What resources would we use? What skills would be needed? What would be a good approach?

COMMENTS:

Mission is hospitality for local gatherings

Mission is often about: listening sensing guessing feeling what God is doing / where God is going, and being there. NAMING what is happening, interpreting what is going on and connecting this up with the story.

Mission is outreach and inclusive openings to the spirit’s leadings

Communication methods: email, web, personal experience – not constrained but open and responsive

As a parish church might we be better listening to those who live in the parish

We don’t need a building to fulfil the marks of mission, we need to engage with people

Mission has to be also willing to fail and learn from that failure and move on

Knowing no divisions of race or sexuality. Embracing all.

As a result of a recent conversation with a friend I got thinking about YOUNG PEOPLE. When I first came to AH 10 years ago I was a YOUNG PERSON. Now in my 30s I don’t feel like a YOUNG PERSON yet I am one of the youngest members of the congregation (excl Kids Church of course!) and I wonder where are the next generation of YOUNG PEOPLE in our church? I worry about us becoming a typical aging congregation. With age there is wisdom thank God but we also need YOUTH. I wonder if this starts with the dreaded STUDENT, not necessarily doing stuff for students but providing a space for them to be welcome as part of our church; providing a space for those who need it.

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