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At the invitation of the Standing Committee, the Parish Development Working Group has devised a programme appropriate to the Church of Ireland that will be of real help to ordinary parishes seeking change.
The key to Church21 is “implementation”. We don’t impose an agenda on parishes but help them turn aspiration into action. So even if a church is already participating in another ministry programme it could still benefit from Church21 and the motivation, support and energy that the programme offers. The most important thing is that the objectives are owned by the parish and followed through in a way that makes a real difference to the life of the parish and the community in which it is placed. Play the video above, “The Story So Far,” for reflections on the first Church21 programme.
Three key concepts lie behind Church21:
- Envisioning – because we need to have a clear sense of the kind of church God is calling us to be
- Motivating – because we want others to catch the vision and get involved
- Resourcing – because we can only be enriched as we share God’s gifts with one another.
At its heart are 5 values:
- Openness to God
- Learning together
- Honest sharing of experience
- Mutual accountability
- Gentle challenge and encouragement
And it has particular strengths:
- It’s a process not a one-off event.
- It puts forward practical examples of fresh initiatives in a way that is honest, realistic and hopeful.
- It offers parishes the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom and experience of an outside facilitator over a period of 18 months.