Back in February the Church Council went away for a residential meeting to pray and discern some of the priorities for the next phase of the Minster’s life. Following further discussion, the Church Council will be launching some new Vision Groups for the Community to join, and to help take the Minster forward. The themes of the current Development Plan drive us forward to consider the renewal of both people and place. Keeping a balance of people and place in a Minster is a constant challenge, especially with a large building like the Minster.
The four Vision Groups will be Growth and Education, Social Justice, Worship, and Finance & General Purposes. Each Group ideally should have a Lay Co-ordinator and supported by one member of the Clergy in each group. We want to model collaborative ministry within the community, people and priests working together for the benefit of everyone. The numerical and spiritual growth agenda is high for the Archbishop of Canterbury, and for the new Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. Recent research has demonstrated how some Cathedrals and Greater Churches have experienced growth, and we need to make sure that we’re ready to join in and meet the challenge. I believe we have seen a shift in the Minster Community in recent years, from one which has been very solid and stable, to a more fluid and changing community, with people coming and going on a regular basis. This is both exciting and challenging at the same time.
The renewal of place focuses us on how we care for the Minster as a building, and ensures that we can make use of it to serve our purpose and mission. The failed HLF bid was a bitter blow for the Minster, and we are now in the process of recovery and dusting ourselves down for a new vision to emerge. The re-modelling of the front of the Nave to improve our worship and widen participation to those we want to offer hospitality, is high on the Church Council’s agenda.
June is a key month of activity with a number of events planned: the Summer Dinner, The Flower Festival, The Patronal Festival, The Friends annual trip, to mention but a few. These activities are designed to bring the community together, and to encourage people from Calderdale and beyond to visit the Minster, and experience something of the glory of God. Please come and support what you can, and if you are willing and able to offer to help in anyway, please do volunteer!
Sunday 24th June is Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church, and a day when we shall be baptising new Christians, as the Lord continues adding to our number those whom he is calling.
All best wishes,