Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Solemnity of Christ the Universal King
Sunday 23rd November 2008

10am Sung Mass, Procession & Benediction
Celebrant & Preacher: The Revd Canon Michael Shields SSC

Yesterday was spent catching up with some books and preparing things for the PCC and the next edition of the Parish Magazine. The programme for Advent and Christmas was also finalised.
After the 8pm Mass the PCC met to listen to the presentation by Fr Ron Robinson on “Fan the Flame”. Now the members of the PCC are reading the booklet they were given and praying about the whole issue to see if God wills the Fan the Flame week in our Parish, please do keep them in your prayers.
After Mass today we assembled to recite the Litany of St Joseph in front of his shrine, we offered it for all the members of our congregation for whatever needs they may have. Wednesday is the day dedicated to St Joseph and the 19th day is his feast day (in March) when Wednesday happens to be the 19th then special devotions to St Joseph are encouraged.
After devotions I worked with our Parish Administrator until Fr Mark collected me to go to the Deanery Chapter today held in the lovely village of Westerham. The meeting, led by the Vicar of Westerham, considered some statistics about CofE attendance as found in Peter Brierly’s book “Pulling out of the Nosedive”. It is interesting that since 1994 attendance figures have fallen drastically but in this book there are suggestions on how to pull out of this, hence the title. The suggestions can be found to the end of the book (p.253). Anglo-Catholic parishes need not worry as the suggestions he puts are in place and from my little experience I have seen more going on. It is good to see how churches in our tradition are growing.
Back home I had some printing to finish and e-mails to answer and then straight to Office of Readings, Vespers and Salve. The Servers are going to do more printing tonight to meet the heavy demands on their Christmas Cards production.
Reflecting on the Brierly's book mentioned above I reflected on his last suggestion: “Work out a strategy of where you’re going, or where you’d like to be in, say, 5 years’ time?” Looking at mission as a Parish we are forming a vision of where, under God, we would like to be in 5 years time, but if the Cof E only offers us a Code of Practice, the vision of where I am going to be becomes clearer as a Code of Practice will not do.

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