Feedback from the first Growing in God Roadshow

NEWMARKET – 28th September 2014: 44 registered participants (with approx. 16 unregistered participants) representing 8 benefices, at least one chaplaincy, one church school, one Christian youth agency. 2 short workshops offered. Notes from the groups are below the fold and are also being published on the diocesan website. Notes from the other roadshows will follow. Themes are already emerging that will help us shape our future framework well.

Growing in Depth

What are you doing?

Prayer Groups, House Groups/Bible Study; ‘Men of Faith’ Group.

Prayer Ministry for sick people & listening/counselling.

Praying for Sunday school before we actually start.

Seasonal Reflection Groups at Rectory (Lent/Advent).

Lay Ministry.

Churches Together Lent Course; Singing; Ladies Fellowship & Walking weekends.

House Groups; ‘Knit and Natter’.

Ministry Team – meeting specifically for prayer; praying before meetings; offering opportunities to discuss faith in Lent and Advent Courses.

House Groups.

Men of Faith Meetings.

Meeting for Bible Study occasionally.

Regular monthly Prayer Group for the Sick.

PCC meetings start with 15 minutes prayer before the “business” bit starts.

Prayer in the community; Shared Lunch.

Prayer support for Town Pastors; Pray for a person met in town who is in distress; Daily prayer at home.

What encourages you?

People of like mind who give support.  The fellowship of being together.

Support from house group etc & close friendships.

Sense of God’s presence in our prayers.

The needs of the parish & people without faith.  Daily reading.

Prayerful people. ‘Quiet Times’.

The Word of God.  Reading the Bible.

The Bible.  Pray Now.  Daily readings.  Needing to be thankful.  Express love.  The Peace.  Preaching.

Our Faith.

Answered prayer.

Living for God and speaking to Him each morning.

Answered Prayers.  Support from Vicar & Church People.

Needing God’s help.  Recognising our dependence.

Encouraging Lay Ministry

What challenges you?

Personal inertia.   Procrastination.

Finding time for daily Quiet Time. (Daily  Office)

Self – Confident.  Always busy

People that do not want (to) spend time in the Word.

Diversity of beliefs and styles.

Changing of people’s attitudes.

Lack of response.  Other pressures.  Finance.

Time.  Confidence.

Busy – difficult to get together mid-week as a fellowship.

Being ‘busy’ and not time to think deeply.



Growing in Number

What are you doing?

A Visitor Ministry to those coming to Newmarket e.g. hotels.

Open the Book.

Toilets, plumbing in Church.

Schools enjoying Church e.g. carol services.

Shared Lunch bring new people into church.

European Friends Group; Thinking about how we can re-order the building.

Group meeting for Eastern Europeans has begun & thinking of social issues.

Very caring people; Be aware of those in need or difficulty; Outreach; Inclusive; Churches Together.

To have support from the congregation to do Fresh Expressions.

Teenagers – How?  Older – but not yet retired.

Going out in the community working with poor or unresolved families.

Reaching out to marginalized groups.

Making more contact with the community.

Youth community “Gospel” choir.

Attending House Group; Attending Church – a witness to others who know where I spend my Sundays.

Develop decent modern facilities to allow good events and functions to take place.

Prayer – meditation group; corporate prayer intercessions; personal prayer – open church & holy space.

Develop relationships with children and families.

Mum and Toddler; “Jam” at local school

Uniformed groups come to  – Christingle; Remembrance; Mothering Sunday.

Another mission within the Parish i.e. out on the Streets.

Aspiration – Caring for the elderly, lonely people e.g  transport to church and occasional home visits.

Get to know younger people in village – introduce more modern form of worship.

Being friendly; welcoming talking to everyone; events outside Church (e.g. quiz night)


What encourages you?

Village school contacts good reaching families there but no overlap into the worshipping community.

Seeing a full church on a Sunday.

Spreading the Word.

Messy Church in a neighbouring parish going well.

Seeing the Church full whether of not for a Service!

Prayer support. Shared vision. People (PCC). Listening & supporting.

We do special events well  e.g Remembrance; Flower Festival & they are well supported.

Parish Newsletter. Common Altar.

Seeing the group grow in number and faith.

Parish Newsletter has brought some response from local people.

Increasing number of Eastern Europeans attending.

What challenges you?

People not wanting to know God.

Time management.

We had a mission with the Americans two years ago but this was never followed up.

Difficulty in language and difficult relating to other ethnic groups.

Too much talking about and not enough ‘doing’!

People who laugh/don’t understand.  Time.

No contact at all with teenagers.  No village youth group.

We all need training or advice/tips on how to speak to people about our faith  i.e. how to do mission.

Language problems.

Lack of personal confidence in speaking to people about our faith.

  1. a) Finance to support practical improvement. b) An easier pathway for delivering change.

Church Building:  – takes time, money and puts people off attending.

Not enough people know how to confidently express their faith and share it – Training.  Tending to look inwards and not prioritise outreach.  Expect people to come to Church. We need them to know God

Look at local census of types, age etc of people in Parish.  Trying new things.

Tradition is firmly entrenched.

People using all their energy to raise funds rather than committing to outreach.

A course/learning to empower, give people confidence to talk/answer people about our faith.

Time to be involved and energy to help with organisation. – decide what to drop so to be free.

How can we find out what local people need? (Census stats are on line)

Growing in Influence

What are you doing?

School Governance

Town Pastors

Parish Lunch for Community.

Toddlers Group.

Come alongside people; Events.

Hospital visiting.

Holiday Clubs.

Church School.

Coordinator (for) Kids for Christ – 3-12 year old children; leading in church; Pray monthly at different churches for Newmarket and villages; Town Pastors; The Children’s Society Coordinator; Run Home Group.

Aspire to – Pastoral Care – really caring for all people through practical/prayer.

Lead House Group to encourage others; Offer to pray with others outside church.

JAM (Jesus and Me)extended school – then invite in ‘Open the Book’.

Ladies Walking Weekend & Mens.

Dream – Draw outward ‘non-believers’ into discovering the Gospel/Jesus; Pastoral Care.

Film Club; Community Lunches; Toddler Group; Open the Book; School Lunch Club.

Church Fete in Cavendish Care – Dreaming provision for young people.

Coming alongside people; More support for ex-offenders.

Church Magazines; Village Magazines.

Do now – arranging events to take the church into the community. Aspiration/dream – establish team to visit sick/lonely.

Shared lunch invited from outside – hospitality; Coffee & biscuits in village hall.

Muslim Outreach.

Knit ‘a Natter Group – churchgoers and community; House Groups; Mission Group – Local, National & International.

Helping people with God in mind; Listening/Counselling Service.

Part of Christian Charity; Aspire to do – speak God in all that I do.

Reaching out to Parish around Church

What encourages you?

New people with energy.

My own experiences.  Jesus example.


Team – mutual support.


Feedback – Home groups.  Worship.

Worshipping together at the Eucharist.

Welcomers and Greeters.

The team at Church.

Sharing good news stories.

Encouragement.  Listening.

Churchgoers.  Holy Spirit led.


Inspiration – The Christian fellowship and kindness shown by members of the church.

The Holy Spirit.  Being rejected.

Feedback from others.

God/Jesus/Holy Spirit.  Prayer Triplets and Housegroup.

What challenges you?


Helpers! Resources. Faith!

Being rejected.

Red tape.


Lack of proper space, resources, people and energy!

Time management.

Confidence.  Trust.  Fear of rejection.

Negativity – often within us.

We don’t encourage each other very much.

Limited by age.  Centre attention on others.

My own lack of confidence & time.

Too much other pressures e.g. Admin & red tape.


Lack of prayer.

Having support and encouragement to reach out to do pastoral care.

Connecting with non-church so they can experience what we have.  ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Growing Younger

What are you doing?

Proper well resourced youth group.

Dreaming – Teenage Mission resources

Family Service; Primary school links; Secondary school link; Being uncomfortable; Prepared to Change.

We have 12 adult leaders for children’s work on Sundays. We have Youth Group meeting 12-18 on Sundays. We have good relationships with 2 schools in our parish.

Help with Sunday school &Mother & Toddlers & Messy Church.

Get the Adult Congregation to consider how we can change “Church” so that it is of interest to our young people.

We have mother & toddler groups 2 mornings a week. I am going to also go to mother and toddler group and read bible story creatively. We are going to start a Messy Church after school at one school.

  1. Make worship relevant. 2. Children are central and involved. 3. Children take the lead (church school)

Currently doing Sunday Morning groups for school age children. Would like to be doing something for young adults.

Talk to them – Family Services – Links with Primary Schools – More Contemporary Music.

Harvest Supper. Afternoon teas for European friends.

Child friendly; Variety of worship styles; Accessible services; Recognise needs of “unchurched”.

Youth Alpha; What does our community need? Parish Magazine with ‘What’s on’.

Need to engage under 40’s.

Doing – Schools work; Toddlers. Would like to do – attract the families to church so the children can continue to grow.

Cavendish – Sunday Monday Club at School – but no children in church except special school services. Clare has Messy Church is well supported.

Doing – Attracting musicians all ages and both genders. Dream – Attract under 40’s who are non-musicians.

Teenage Bible Study

What encourages you?

A supportive and prayerful priest.

‘Called’ – having become a Christian as a teenager.

Contact with ethnic groups.

Support from our community school.

When the children respond to the Word – e.g. songs.

Local school bring children into church introducing them to services.


Inspired by work of the Discovery Centre.

Housegroup and Prayer support.

Seeing what children who believe can actually do with their peers.


What challenges you?

Prayer for music talent – young conductor.

Age of church members – no contact with teenagers.

Remaining relevant.  Volunteers.  Enough space on a Sunday.

Lack of opportunity

Time influence in formation.

Lack of commitment to Evangelism. Lack of Vitality.

Expectations – can’t please all the people all the time.

Lack of time.  The way things have always been done.

Under 40’s think we’re irrelevant.

Keeping the young ones attention.

Cold, uncomfortable medieval churches.  Lack of people to help.  Football.

People need to understand how children are taught in school as they are given more responsibility than in many Sunday Schools and so find Sunday boring.