Over the years, before, during and after my ordination, I’ve had the privilege of serving in both urban and rural church settings. Currently, I find myself in a mixed bag of churches, grouped together which range from a suburban parish right through to rural settings. One of these parishes is the church of St. James the Great, Rudry. This post aims to reflect and comment, just a little, on this particular church, as it’s growing.
The main reason why my blog has been so quiet over the last year or so has been because of my ordination training, of which the writing of my dissertation took up any otherwise free time to write my blog. However, now that pre ministry training has finished and I am now in the swing of being the Country Parson, I now feel able to take up my writing again. So this first blog since the silence is a “good news story”. It’s about a small parish church with limited resources. It’s a story of growth; church growth, both spiritually and numerically.
St James’, Rudry has, over the last year or so, started to see things change for the positive. Certainly over the last six months or so, there has been a marked change in the church family. There is an invigorating drive to share the gospel in word and deed, there is more hunger and thirst to grow in faith, and there is an outward looking vision fostered in the hearts of those who are established in that little community.
During the summer months of 2016, we were getting congregations around the 20 mark. This was a huge improvement on previous years where congregations were as low as between three and six people. So that’s a good news story in itself. But a few weeks ago, there were 43 in church (one quarter of which were under 18), and these are numbers we are seeing more and more every Sunday.
Why is this, and what has happened? Here are some of my initial thoughts and answers:
Of course, we’re just in the early stages of growth at the moment, and there have been many mistakes and hiccups already. Presently, we’re actually in a fragile time. The challenge for us right now is to continually and consistently monitor where we are and address challenges pertaining to growth as and when they arise. For a church with a small budget and a restricted building, this will inevitably mean sacrifices in the future; greater involvement of the whole congregation in taking up ministry within the church, and that dreaded one, sacrificial giving, if we are to foster the gifts that God has given us. The fact that we are now at seating capacity most weeks is one very large (but positive) challenge, and there are of course a few big, exciting answers to that challenge. So please pray for us as we seek the answer to “what, and where next?”.
Photo taken by “gazj38”, published on his Flickr Feed.
Dean is a Minister in the Anglican Church. Currently he is Curate in the parishes of Bedwas, Machen, Michaelston-y-Fedw and Rudry in South Wales. He was born and bred in Wales, is married to Megan, and has two dogs called Taliesin and Melyn, and two cats named Sinsir and Hâf. He graduated from Cardiff University with a BA Hons. in Theology & Religious Studies, and has studied for an MA in Theology, Ministry & Mission at Trinity College Bristol. He also holds a Cert.RSCM from the Royal School of Church Music. He loves playing music, walking, reading, blogging and horse riding as well as going to the cinema and theatre.
Read More @ http://deanroberts.net/about
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