Last year the General Synod of the Church of England received a report entitled Setting God’s People Free. The report looks at the involvement of the whole people of God in the mission of the church. It notes that there has too often been a failure to share leadership beyond the clergy.
The report suggests that lay involvement and leadership across the Church is essential to the mission and life of the Church of England. In this context the word ‘lay’ is used to describe those who are not clergy.
There are two aspects to this. Firstly, the Church needs to give full involvement and equal value to the ministry of lay and ordained alike. Secondly, the Church needs to recognise the ministry of its members goes beyond the activities of the church, and so seek to support its lay members in their Monday to Saturday lives.
The sharing of leadership is vital to the future of Christ Church, so it has been disappointing to be operating with only one churchwarden since April, instead of the statutory two. Stephen Anderson has risen to this task, but it has placed an unfair burden on him.
I am delighted that we have now been able to appoint three Deputy Wardens to assist Stephen. Matt Doe, Sheila Gill and Dee Humphris were commissioned at The 10.30 Service on 23rd September and are currently moving into their new roles.
Matt will be taking a lead on building-related issues, Sheila will be part of the Standing Committee and share in the visionary and spiritual leadership of our church, while Dee will be initially looking at the practical issues around Sunday morning duties, and our all-important rotas.
Speaking of which, we do plan to review the various Sunday morning duties, to ensure that all runs smoothly and that Christ Church maintains its reputation as a welcoming church.
Finally can I encourage you to pray for our sister churches at Purbrook and Crookhorn both going through changes at the moment. We want to continue to work together across our cluster and are making plans to ensure that this can happen.
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. (Psalm 127 v1)
Revd Andy Wilson
Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown
Joint Area Dean, Havant
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC