Local resident, and Ordinand, Ruth Barr is working with us at the moment to help us to do that most effectively as part of her training.
I'll leave Ruth to introduce herself below, but available here, please also find enclosed here a short survey (it will take you less than 5 minutes to complete) that we'd like as many of you as possible to fill in and return. You can either print the form and return it to the parish office or you can email it to me directly.
In anticipation, thanks for your help!
I would like to introduce myself to those who do not already know me. My name is Ruth Barr and I am training for ordained ministry in the Church of England. As part of this training programme, I have been asked to research an aspect of the life of the local community and how the church can best respond missionally to that context and equip (lay) people to communicate the Gospel. This is linked with my current workplace as a context for mission. I worked at St Peter’s School for over 5 years as a Special Needs Teaching Assistant and am currently at Maple Cross JMI School in the same capacity where I have worked for nearly 3 years now. I have also lived in the Rickmansworth and Mill End area for most of my life, I have raised both my boys in local schools and feel that I know and understand our communities and the challenges and joys of living and working here.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus says the following:
“God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.” (Message version)
As part of our mission to bring Jesus to those around us, we have been considering how we might actually do that. We are aware that many people would love to do this, but for various reasons have not so far been able to. Maybe you are a person whose life is very busy; you have no spare time, you wouldn’t know how to start something or maybe don’t feel equipped practically to show the love of Jesus to those in our communities. For some, the opposite is the problem; you lead lives with too much free time on your hands but maybe are stopped from involvement through ill health or other reasons. For others, you might be feeling that you’ve already done your part and now it’s time for others to take their turn.
We are considering how we can impact the communities we live in and would therefore love you to fill out a short questionnaire which will help give us an idea of the demographics of our three congregations (St Thomas’, West Hyde, St Peter’s, Mill End and St John’s, Heronsgate) and also whether we are able to play our part in sharing the love that Jesus has shown to us with those with whom we live in community.
If you could please take a few minutes to answer the questions below, that would be really appreciated. Please be assured that pertinent to the Data Protection Act 1998, any sensitive personal data will only be shared between myself and the Rev Simon Cutmore. We would appreciate a good selection of these questionnaires returned by March 16th 2014, to allow time for analysis.