Report to St. Philip’s Webheath Annual Meeting 2016

Go here for the year in pictures.

Clergy and Readers

The licensing of Rev Paul Irving just over two years ago completed a new clergy team for the parishes. To this end the team of clergy have been seeking to build their relationships, and seek the Lord’s vision and strategy for our future. The overall aim will be to encourage each priest to focus on their ministerial strengths, while giving due weight to the areas of responsibility specified in their episcopal licence.

The Team from June 28th 2015:

  • Team Rector Rev. Richard Clark. I am the full time incumbent of the parish of Redditch Holy Trinity and St Bartholomew’s Tardebigge and St Mary’s Lower Bentley. I have special responsibility for leading the team, and for the district of Webheath, and the parish of Tardebigge & Lower Bentley.
  • Team Vicar Rev. Paul Irving. Paul is full time, and has special responsibility for parish education, especially ministry in schools. He also has special responsibility for Beoley St Leonard.
  • Team Vicar Rev. Paul Lawlor. Paul is half time town centre chaplain under Faith at Work in Worcestershire, and half time Team Vicar with special responsibility for the church of Redditch St. Stephen.
  • Team Vicar Rev. Dick Johnson. Dick is a full time chaplain with Faith at Work in Worcestershire with Sunday duty in the team.
  • Assistant Curate Rev. Allison Davies joined the clergy team as a self-supporting minister at the end of June 2015. Allison has a very busy job and has limited availability; nonetheless she is taking her share of baptisms, and is growing in her involvement across the team, most especially at Webheath and Tardebigge. Allison will begin to preside at Holy Communion and to take weddings from July onwards.

Although from 1st April 2015 Tardebigge became an individual parish once again, in ministry terms it remains under my incumbency within the team although the Redditch Holy Trinity parish now consists of St Stephens, Webheath and Beoley church districts. During 2015 the Holy Trinity team parish clergy were assisted by the Revd. Mike Herbert, who has persevered despite the limitations imposed by his health condition. His perseverance and involvement are an example to us all.

Adult church attendances have generally been static in numbers, although there was a small decline in 2015, especially at the 9am Book of Common Prayer Holy Communions, owing to illness and infirmity among the regular congregation. The figures below do not include the Christmas services.

490 came to 32 BCP services in 2013; the average for the 9am BCPHC: 15.3
463 came to 28 BCP services in 2014; the average for the 9am BCPHC: 16.5
378 came to 28 BCP services in 2015; the average for the 9am BCPHC: 13.5

1484 adults came to 10.30am services in 2013
1536 adults came to 10.30am services in 2014
1480 adults came to 10.30am services in 2015

Pips, a monthly Thursday afternoon meeting for children aged three to seven, was begun in April and is now a regular fixture, has resulted in more children engaging in worship, although fewer children attended Sunday worship in 2015 than in 2014.

110 children came to worship services in 2013
156 children came to worship services in 2014
203 children came to worship services in 2015

Christmas attendances reflected the general trend, with a notable increase in the number of under sixteens who came to a service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day

Christmas Services: 2015 2014 2013
Totals 285 – 58 250 – 41 303 – 43

Encounter, a Sunday 7pm reflective meeting, ceased to meet after July as the musicians became unavailable. It may be revived at some point in mid-late 2016 as some people clearly found it to be beneficial.

Thanks

My especial thanks are due to everyone who has contributed much to bless and build St Philip’s in 2015: the church wardens, who have worked hard on our behalf during the year. Jill and David formed a new and effective partnership following the end of Barry Finch’s term of office; the team readers, who have helped out in many ways; Rosemary and Jill’s work at BBT has been invaluable, along with a committed (or pressganged?) team. Gary Roberts, and the buildings committee have faced continued challenges and frustrations but have persevered and are still pressing forward towards a better future;  Nancy Croft has been supportive in many ways, and especially among those seeking to bless Saltways; she is also concerned for community work generally, and in representing us at prayer meetings and events; Brenda Morgan continues to support the community through her work with the Webheath Ladies’ Circle; Philip Jarvis has administered a team of organists; the Stronachs and the Halls have done a great deal to bless and enhance the quality of our All Age worship services.

Alyson Hawkins has sought to become accustomed to the Treasurer’s role while also continuing with her role in organising the Summer Fete and Advent Fair. She has tackled these tasks with responsibility, integrity and determination. John Hawkins has been a faithful and thoughtful DCC secretary; the Stronachs have been invaluable in keeping us in touch with one another, and have continued to help to encourage our awareness of the needs of young people; Helen Alderman has been faithful, reliable and unfailingly helpful; Lorna Robinson has persevered with the magazine despite not only John’s health but her own mobility issues; Stewart Mason has helped to look after the grounds, and is now a Webheath representative on the Tardebigge Poverty and Sickness Trusts; Chris Littlewood, Jackie Hearnshaw, Rosemary and Keith Carter and Bob and Mary Hughes has worked hard helping out in many ways; and many, many thanks to all others who have contributed to the ministry here through many and varied acts of service. There are so many I could mention it is difficult to know where to stop! This year, however, I especially want to mention the vergers at weddings and baptisms; this role is seen as an important part of our welcome and I have been struck by the care and consideration that the team put into these roles. So much of what happens here is done in teams, and the unity and collaboration that has been so evident at St Philip’s will, I hope and pray, continue to be a hallmark of our present and our future.

2016 and Beyond

What of our future? I have no doubt that St Philip’s is a church that can have a great future in its ever-growing area. We are a forward-looking church that is seeking to grow its ministry through the church annex/extension, the establishment of a programme group, and the introduction of new meetings.

While we are waiting to see precisely what happens regarding the proposed new house building it will increase the population of the locality by roughly 500 people in the short term, and perhaps an additional 7000 before 2020.

A more immediate challenge that I face as governor of Webheath First School Academy is that from September 2016 Webheath will be a primary school with a Year 5 class, who will take Key Stage 2 assessments at the school in 2018. I am delighted that an Open the Book team bring the Christian message into the school on a regular basis; although some basic Christian material is being covered on the RE syllabus assemblies cannot be guaranteed to contain much in the way of directly Christian material without their input.

In 2016 the top priorities is to look at:

  • Moving towards the completion of our building project
  • Ways of reaching out to our growing district, including monthly “Open Church” mornings
  • Ways of continuing to build up our ministry to children
  • Ways of deepening our discipleship and sensitively developing our Sunday worship
  • Ways of growing the social and community life of St Philip’s.

We are also looking forward to an exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the Battle of the Somme, in November 2016.

I continue to maintain that the work of the laity will be the key factor in the future growth and prosperity of St Philip’s.

What does the Team Rector do?

I look forward to completing my third full year as Team Rector in July. My primary ministerial role is as the full time incumbent of the parish of Redditch Holy Trinity and St Bartholomew’s Tardebigge and St Mary’s Lower Bentley. I have special responsibility for leading the team, for the district of Webheath, and the parish of Tardebigge & Lower Bentley.

  • I am Chairman of the Holy Trinity and Tardebigge PCCs, and Webheath DCC.
  • I am Chairman of the Tardebigge Poverty and Sickness Trusts, which includes the Webheath area.
  • I am a member of Diocesan Synod and the Diocesan Commission for Social Responsibility.
  • I am a governor of Webheath First School Academy, and also of Tardebigge First School.
  • I act as chaplain to Redditch United Football Club

In 2015 I made a trip to France to support the missionaries working in Val d’Isere, and attended a European prayer conference in Timisoara, Romania. I am also Chairman of the trustees of The Cherish Fund.

I am a member of the board of trustees of the Jericho Road Project, and consultant to Trumpet Call prayer in Nottingham and attend Midlands regional leaders’ meeting once a quarter. The parish do not financially support these, or any other activities not directly linked to my parochial ministry.

Signature

Rev Richard Clark
09.04.16

The Year in Pictures (return to top)

The Vicar and Curate dividing up the Harvest Lunch!
The Vicar and Curate dividing up the Harvest Lunch!
Redditch United FC will have a plastic pitch this autumn; they will run 60 teams, and have their own academy in association with Bournville College.

Redditch United FC will have a plastic pitch this autumn; they will run 60 teams, and have their own academy in association with Bournville College.

 

Before, During, After – we received a grant towards the cost of a new sign for St Philip’s thanks to Cllr Robin Lunn (return to top)

Before.
Before.

 

During. We received a grant towards the cost of this additional noticeboard, thanks to Cllr Robin Lunn.
During.

 

After. We received a grant towards the cost of this additional noticeboard, thanks to Cllr Robin Lunn.
After.

 

Planting flowers has also helped us to appear more attractive.
Thanks also to those who keep the church grounds neat and tidy.
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Planting flowers has also helped us to appear more attractive. Thanks also to those who keep the church grounds neat and tidy.

 

Caged Webheathans…

Caged Webheathans…

 

…but look what they did to the Vicar! Ouch!

…but look what they did to the Vicar! Ouch!

 

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