Andrew Gray and Stephen Hogg encourage you to ‘Get Involved!’
I am no theologian, but if the Bible ever carried a sub-title those two words would surely be a contender. Jesus repeatedly calls us to be his followers, and that means getting involved. It is for that reason that a small group of General Synod members are taking the lead in forming a Lay Group to help Society parishes.
Finding volunteers is difficult at the best of times, and it is not a problem unique to the Church. However, it is particularly challenging in deprived areas. All too often, parish priests struggle to fill PCC positions. It can be depressing and isolating for the Priest, who finds himself micro-managing administrative tasks which take him away from the work of Mission and Evangelism. Churches are not going to grow if they spend most of their time and effort treading water. Finding a Treasurer from among the congregation is always like pulling teeth. Now try doing it in a sink estate on the outskirts of Forgotten Britain.
Philip North has written extensively of the need to work with the most deprived churches. Therefore, a core group of lay Synod members have decided to step forward and are forming “Anglo Catholic Laity”. Forgive the unimaginative title – we may think of a better one……
…but more importantly, we need you.
We are creating a “skills bank” of volunteers who can lend assistance to parishes which request it. The idea is simple – if a church cannot fill a position voluntarily, we will supply someone to offer outside assistance. Perhaps your parish needs help providing a grant application, or commercial advice on the best use of the parish hall.
We would love to be a resource to help do that. The database we are compiling will include laity from society parishes who can provide that support, guidance and practical help. This might include:
- Independent examination of accounts
- Grant application support
- Peer review of mission plans
- Design and testing of websites
- Administrative assistance
- Networking and introductions to third parties
Whatever your area of skill, whether currently employed or retired, we would love to hear from you. We will not disclose your details to anyone else (or volunteer you) without your prior consent!
Please email Tjeerd (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, address, contact number, profession (whether current or retired) and the areas in which you would feel happy to assist.
We are already getting a lot of interest in this project, and look forward to hearing from you!
Andrew Gray is a General Synod Representative for the Diocese of Norwich. Stephen Hogg is a General Synod Representative for the Diocese of Leeds