Stone with Dinton and Hartwell
Mission Action Plan
What we do well
In our worship we have
- an enthusiastic laity
- a good range of services including monthly Evensong, traditional Book of Common Prayer, and more modern services.
- people willing to take responsibility and lead or contribute to services
- a good mix of ages in our congregation
- a strong musical tradition with an established choir for special festivals
- lay leading of public prayer in services and a prayer chain
- a core of regular attenders and a large pool of people who either attend infrequently or know people who do.
- friendly and welcoming atmosphere to all ages attracting people from the villages and outside.
- increasing lay involvement in services and ministry
- good links with two local village church schools through Open Book and other services
- excellent relationships with village Methodist Chapel – Christian Unity, Christian Aid joint services and firth Sunday shared services
- regular visiting local care and nursing homes
- Living Stones –our ‘Messy Church’
- A profitable parish magazine produced to a professional standard.
- Links with wider church through Diocesan and Deanery synods and other Christian organisations such as Street Angels.
- Bible study groups lead by a variety of people, especially at Lent and Advent. Read the Bible groups in Lent.
- Most village activities are led by or have substantial church representation
Buildings and Finance
- maintaining two beautiful listed and loved medieval churches in sound condition with attractive displays. The porch at Stone has recently been opened during the daytime. The buildings are centrally situated with easy access.
- meeting our financial commitments
- use of Gift Aid
- ‘Coffee cup’ collections at Sunday services for local charities
- active fabric committees at both churches
- supportive local non church community – for example churchyard maintenance, and fund raising activities.
- Bell ringing at Dinton. (Stone bells unringable)
What we want to do better
There is a good variety of gifts, experiences, and abilities in the parish. The congregation has continued to increase as we have welcomed newcomers to the church family. There has been a marked increase in attendance which needs to be built on. Younger people and families new to Church need to be encouraged and nurtured. We wish to build on recent progress and maintain a vibrant, viable church with good links to the wider benefice and beyond.
We need to
- nurture spiritual growth, discipleship and outreach and develop leadership skills;
- recognise the need for ministry for single people and single parent families
- expand the pastoral care in parish;
- promote consistent and regular church attendance across the parish;
- provide specific instruction and learning opportunities for children and young people – especially teenagers;
- promote home prayer and study groups both lay-and clergy-led;
- use existing secular venues and events for church activities;
- recognise that Dinton and Stone communities support their village church enthusiastically but in different ways;
- reach out to occasional users of the church from within and outside the parish;
- recognise the administrative benefits of a larger benefice;
- develop social media and other ways of imparting information;