When the government announced in 2016 that local councils would be required to build many new homes by the year 2025, Rector, Don Smith, responded with a challenge to the people at St Mary’s.
Working primarily through homegroups, he asked that we survey our parish, noting any new homes which have been built in very recent years, maintaining that note and building relationships, into the future. The groups involved were allocated a number of roads, with the whole parish being covered between them, and with other groups also praying for the people living in their roads.
Homegroups ‘prayer walked’ their roads, praying as they went for residents in those houses. Individuals kept a look-out for new homes and new neighbours, and kept record of appropriate homes to visit.
For two years, at the beginning of each school term, an attractive new flyer will be produced and distributed, inviting recipients to a range of activities and opportunities at St Mary’s Church. In Autumn 2017 these included Carpet Bowls Antiques Roadshow Book Club and baptism of babies! The Spring 2018 flyer mentions a memorial service (for anyone bereaved), a chess club, coffee mornings and the Summer Lunchtime Concerts.
There is also an invitation to ask for prayer by people in the church, or to ask for the Rector to visit them, and ‘Bless this Home’.
Three times a year, visits will be made to speak to residents about particular events, or to welcome them into their new home, and to offer a flyer. The hope is that some will be interested and drawn to a particular event, and then make friends and maybe come to church, or even to another FACT church in the area.