In our vision for 2017 we briefly outlined exciting opportunities for wider outreach across Molesey. In January last year, St Mary’s East Molesey was invited to form a partnership with St Peter’s West Molesey by sending a team under Alex Munro to work alongside the congregation, establish a new 4pm service and reflect God’s love throughout West Molesey. St John’s Hampton Wick have also been vital partners in supporting this initiative by sending members of their congregation to join the team, including their Ordinand Paul Freeland and giving funds. This new initiative was launched in July and has had a great impact on the community already. I believe our churches can grow rapidly when they partner together under a single vision for Molesey, uniting resources and reaching out in a strategic and co-ordinated way.
2018 is the first full year of partnership between St Mary’s and St Peter’s Churches in Molesey. Our vision as churches in partnership is to reach Molesey with the love of Jesus by joining together our children’s, schools, youth and worship ministries and forming a shared staff team across both parishes. Our strategy for 2018 contains goals that will help build this ministry but we can only grow when every member of our congregations is living out God’s call on their lives in their families, workplaces, neighbourhoods and churches. And so the role of the staff team is simply to encourage, support, strengthen, release, enable and equip the congregations to follow and relentlessly pursue God’s specific calling for each one of us. We all have God given passions and opportunities to serve and give and it is when these are aligned that we find our calling and that the church becomes this vibrant, growing, fruitful missionary outreach of God’s love. In 2018 we have four areas of focus to help us fulfil our calling and grow as disciples in every area of our lives.
Celebrating the range of worship in our four weekly congregations and building relationships and cohesion across all of them. In particular, following the successful launch of the new 4pm Contemporary Service at Chandlers Field School in West Molesey, we want to see the congregation grow as it reaches out into this community. So, we want to invest in the worship, welcome, hospitality, children and youth teams, so that more and more people can encounter the love of Jesus.
In 2018 we want to build on the great success of our two 24/7 weeks of prayer in 2016&17 by offering more regular but shorter times of around the clock prayer. We also want to create a dedicated prayer space in church to enable around the clock prayer to happen more easily. Prayer on the streets is an amazing opportunity to bring blessing, healing and witness to Molesey. In 2018 we will grow this team and seek to increase our prayerful presence on the streets.
3. CONNECT COMMUNITIES
Formerly Groups at St Mary’s, which are our mid-week groups, gather around a common interest, community outreach or geographical location. The ethos of the groups includes three important aspects:
• Up – Our relationship with God
• In – Our relationship with each other
• Out – Our relationship with the world
We love to gather with others to worship, care for each other, pray and open the Bible. However, the last aspect – Out – is absolutely vital and so each group must have, at it’s heart a missional focus. Ultimately, we believe it is through these groups, with friendship, loving service and prayer that we will reach Molesey with the Gospel. The training for leaders has been refreshed by Ordinand Paul Freeland and piloted at St Peter’s with their first groups. In 2018 we plan to train and release more new leaders, establish more groups and also develop an ongoing programme of leaders’ development to equip those who serve in this way.
4. BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS IN OUR COMMUNITY
We want to build relationships in the community through our Messy Church at St Peter’s on Wednesday afternoons by expanding it and growing the number of families we bless and get to know through it.
St Mary’s Cafe:
We also want to develop our cafe at St Mary’s as an amazing place to meet, build relationships and witness the love of Jesus to members of our community. We hope to open on Fridays during 2018 with a vision to welcome people from across the community and within which we hope to develop a bereavement cafe once a month with a team from church.
Our youth programme is all about supporting the young people of Molesey to reach their God-given potential whilst having fun and building friendships along the way. Key priorities for our youth in 2018 are: growing in number and growing in faith. In order to grow in number, we will deliver several youth outreach events, so that our love for the young people in the local area becomes widely known. We will also host regular fun social activities to help foster a sense of belonging. At the same time, we want to challenge young people to grow in their relationship with God. We will continue to deliver two weekly youth sessions – one on Sunday afternoons which is pacey and games-based with a short, thought-provoking message, the other on Monday evenings which is a slightly deeper study that gives young people space to really explore how the Bible can be applied to their lives. Young people will be encouraged to serve in the life of the church; beginning with involving them in some all age services.
Children and Schools:
We will continue to build our weekly presence in four primary schools in Molesey and hopefully begin outreach in the two local secondary schools in Hersham and Esher through the PAIS Team and in partnership with other churches.
Develop the churches support of those in particular social need through Connect Care Group and the launch of #LoveMolesey: 1000 hours of Molesey churches serving our community.