A letter to the church included in the Annual Parish Report for 2014: The solemn benediction of ‘The Notices’ at the end of the service at St Luke’s isn’t to everyone’s liking. Some of us think it goes on a bit too long.
However, this assessment was placed in a whole new light earlier in the year when a visiting church minister on sabbatical from his church said that the notices were the most inspiring part of our service.
That morning there were notices about the sale of fairly traded goods after the service, an invitation to sing in a home for people with dementia, a request for Christmas gifts for the children of prisoners in Holloway Prison, a request for food donations to the food bank, an invitation for newcomers to join a pub group where they could get to know people in the church, and an appeal for volunteers for night shelter.
The visiting minister was flabbergasted to discover that these were overwhelmingly the initiatives of individuals in the church without any central organisation. ‘If things like that were to happen in my church, it would me who would make them happen’, he said.
At St Luke’s we don’t take the view that in order for a church to prosper it requires strong top-down leadership with a single vision to which everyone must subscribe. Our aim is to be a fellowship of enabling, releasing energies and initiatives within the community.
A major piece of work was done by a forward planning group this year, designed to set some direction for the next five years at St Luke’s, and this drew strongly on the research that came from questions we asked everyone to answer in a Sunday service some months ago. We were delighted at the imagination and energy that emerged from the community as a whole, and look forward to seeing how the plan unfolds.
So here’s to plenty more quirky and innovative notices!
Dave Tomlinson & Martin Wroe