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Mission Accompaniers helping parishes

Published: 20th October 2022

People at the Heritage Open Day at Holly Hall ChurchAll parishes have the opportunity to receive support in the form of a Mission Accompanier, who work alongside a small group in the parish, church or benefice to help understand and work towards what health and sustainability might look like in their context, setting or tradition. 

Over the past few months, Philippa Lowe has been working with St Augustine of Hippo in Holly Hall and Chris Bright has been working with Old Hill, both in Greater Dudley Deanery. Here they talk about how it’s going.

Philippa said:

“Being a Mission Accompanier is an uplifting and fascinating experience. The people I’m working with love their church, their community and God and really want to make that apparent to others. The vicar put together a health and sustainability plan before her maternity leave started and I’ve been walking alongside the congregation as they work through it, adding to it as we go.Talking to people at Holly Hall Church

Our first event was the Heritage Open Weekend where the registers were available for people to view, and refreshments provided. Over 90 people visited and it was a very happy occasion. Some people even came back to church as a result! I’m also encouraging the Augustine’s Biscuit Club (ABC!) which we plan to develop into a Place of Welcome for the local community.

For me, being a Mission Accompanier is all about helping the parish, stoking their ideas and driving these in the right direction.  The initial matching process took place over Zoom, but I’ve very much enjoyed spending time in Dudley, meeting with people in the parish and getting to know them. Although we’re still in the early stages, it definitely feels as if the church has found a new focus with something to aim for and a new future to look forward to!”

Chris said:

Chris Bright“I run a business helping churches work out their mission and vision, so being a Mission Accompanier fits well with my experience, passion and calling. I had an initial pairing meeting with the vicar at Old Hill and felt we had a good synergy from the start. I then met with the PCC to explore what it might look like to be a healthy church – what are they currently doing which is good and what might need to be changed. From this a ‘change team’ was created to look at the mission of the church and the demographics of the local area. This includes both members of the PCC and the wider congregation.

I am really enjoying working with the church. We’ve had some great sessions and people have thrown themselves into the challenge, which is very exciting. The aim is to create a roadmap for the next two years which will outline the values and culture of the church, their vision plans and a discipleship and evangelism strategy – how can the church meet the needs of Old Hill.  I’ve also been working with the vicar to help him identify his strengths and get the right team in place to ensure the church is healthy and sustainable for the future.”

Mission Accompaniers are offered to all our parishes completely free of charge. To find out how your church can benefit, visit our Misison Accompaniers webpage. We are also looking for more Accompaniers to support our parishes – if this could be you, please contact Archdeacon Nikki in the first instance.

Page last updated: Thursday 20th October 2022 3:11 PM

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