This a reminder that if you haven’t yet given feedback on the Parish Profile please could you do so by this Tuesday – 15th December. Drafts of the profile can be found near the West Door of the church. As mentioned previously, the Parish Profile will be used to help guide Trinity Hall during the selection process and will be sent out to all applicants. The Profile needs to reflect the general character of the church, rather than the minute detail of what goes on. Therefore, there may be some aspects of church life that we have to omit in order to paint a good general picture. However, if there are big holes, it is important that we remedy them. Equally, if there is an excessive emphasis on a particular aspect of our communal life, then we need to re-balance the text appropriately.
We are in the process of identifying a new incumbent for St Edward’s. As part of this, we have revised the Parish Profile. The Parish Profile will be used to help guide Trinity Hall during the selection process and will be sent out to all applicants.
The current draft of the Parish Profile is included in the newsletter, which can be found near the West Door of the church and Chapter is now looking for feedback from the congregation.
The Profile needs to reflect the general character of the church, rather than the minute detail of what goes on. Therefore, there may be some aspects of church life that we have to omit in order to paint a good general picture. However, if there are big holes, it is important that we remedy them. Equally, if there is an excessive emphasis on a particular aspect of our communal life, then we need to re-balance the text appropriately.
In order for the appointment process to move along, if you wish to provide feedback on the Parish Profile, please do so by the 15th December, after which the text will be finalised.
Chapter met on 18th of October.
The Christian Meditation group, which was in suspension, was discussed, and Chapter resolved to identify an approach to resuming this if practical. (please note that following further discussion we found people to run the meditation group and it is now meeting on Fridays at 1pm – CM 23/11/2015)
Christopher Martin provided a report on Gift Aid. Over the past months he has dealt with a hugely tedious and time-consuming task of managing all the paperwork for Gift Aid for the past four years. Chapter discussed how best to manage Gift Aid in the future. In particular, it was noted that Gift Aid envelopes are available on Sundays, and it might be that some are not aware of these. To enable the church to recoup tax on anything you put in the collection:
– take an envelope, and put the money in there instead of directly in the bag
– write your name and address on the envelope.
This does not commit you to anything. However, it does mean that the gift is worth about 25% more. Of course, you can only do this if you are a tax payer, and the tax you pay within the year exceeds the amount you give charitably.
We discussed the fact that we do not have any church bibles, and resolved to obtain a set.
In each Chapter meeting, we review the church services to attempt to ensure these are serving the needs of the congregation. The 5pm service now has a regular monthly pattern (evening prayer, Taize, evening prayer with no sermon and meditative Eucharist), having resumed following the summer. The 8am service continues to have a very small congregation, so we considered whether this service is still viable: it was felt that it is still useful to do so. We reviewed the 11am service in the light of the relatively small congregation, but it was generally felt that the approach that is being taken there (Contemplative Morning Prayer, Common Worship Communion, Embodied) is the right one.
As always, Chapter depends on feedback from congregants in order better to put together services and groups that meet their needs and enable them to grow spiritually. Please get in touch if there are aspects of services that you feel work, that we should have more of, or – equally – don’t work for you, or you feel to be unhelpful.
It is worth emphasising that feedback from the congregation on the activities of St Edward’s as it stands now is particularly important as we move towards the point of starting the process of actively looking for a new incumbent. If there are any things about which you feel strongly, or even opinions that you would like to air, there is no better time to do this than the present!
Feedback can be given to any member of Chapter, or either of the church-wardens.
The Cambridge Churches Homeless Project will run again this year.
The Project runs throughout the winter across seven churches, one for each night of the week, who take turns to provide a friendly welcome, hot supper, and safe space to sleep to guests referred to us by Jimmy’s and other organisations within the city. Volunteers from our churches act as hosts each night, and the scheme is joined up by a team of support workers who offer pastoral care and links to further help for those of our guests who need it.
Volunteers are needed to help out. For this season, people are needed to:
- Cook supper for 20 people, once a fortnight or once a month;
- Help with serving and clearing away;
- Stay the night at church (in teams of 4) taking turns to sleep and keep watch;
- Talk with our guests and enjoy their company – or even play cards or chess!
If you are interested, or would like to know more, you are warmly invited to join us for supper and a short talk on what volunteering involves on one of three evenings, all at 7:30 pm:
- Tuesday 3rd November at Little St Mary’s, Trumpington St.
- Thursday 5th November at St Giles, Castle Hill
- Thursday 12th November at Great St Mary’s
or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You don’t need a career in social work, or even in hospitality, to be a huge help: all you need is a friendly interest, and a willingness to give and be blessed!
Chapter met on the 31st of May and the 28th of June.
31st May 2015
We discussed the churchyard, and in particular how best it should be used and managed. There was general consensus that management to keep it in a natural and semi-wild state is most in-keeping with the ethos of St Edward’s. This topic will be revisited in the forthcoming Chapter meeting in August.
We considered music during services, and agreed that an organic growth in this area is appropriate.
The bulk of the meeting was taken up with a wide-ranging discussion initially focused on the possibility of restarting an LGBT group, but moving on to cover the vision and mission of St Edward’s.
28th June, 2015
We revisited the question of vision and mission of St Edward’s. Four headline topics were identified which roughly corresponded to elements in the parish profile previously developed, namely: inclusiveness, meditative spirituality, intellectual engagement, and reconciliation. We started to address the question of how, given the interregnum and limited resources, we move forward on these fronts at St Edward’s.
The meeting also considered the timeline for the interregnum. Following on from a discussion with the Trustees for the Charity for the Emolument of the Chaplain, we noted that the first steps towards a new appointment would be revisiting the parish profile towards the end of this calendar year, with a view to starting the practicalities of finding a new incumbent at the start of 2016.
The most pressing matter considered by Chapter during this meeting was the ongoing challenge of identifying clergy for Sunday services. A number of factors make this difficult. Amongst these are the following: (1) we are in a diocese with a large number of interregna, and so clergy are spread very thinly amongst the churches. (2) at St Edward’s, for a church in an interregnum, we run a large number of services (four services during a week). (3) we are currently at the stage where a number of people who have taken services in the past are moving on or away (4) as we enter the summer holiday period, many are on holiday or otherwise unavailable. Whilst it may be expected that clergy might be abundant in Cambridge, in practice it is also true that the demand for and on clergy is also large here.
Without changing how we manage our services, we are therefore not in a position to run – in particular – all of the three services on Sunday, however much we would like to do so. The principal service at St Edward’s is the 11am service on Sundays, and it is there that, with limited resources, the churchwardens need to focus the bulk of their efforts (see below). However, the 8am service and 5pm services are an essential part of St Edward’s character. The 8am service maintains the BCP tradition, and the 5pm service represents most strongly the meditative and spiritual aspects of St Edward’s. In response to this, Chapter identified some subcommittees – one for the 8am, and one for the 5pm – with the remit of clarifying how we can maintain these services despite the challenges we face.
As the limiting resource is the availability of clergy, the most obvious solution is to decrease our dependency on clergy being available – that is, to have more services which are run in their entirety by laity. This requires planning in terms of service structure, adherence to Canon Law, and in terms of practicalities (e.g. “who has the key to open the church up?” and so on). However, these are challenges that, with help from the congregations at the various services, can be met.
It is clear that the 8am and 5pm services are very valued. The sense by the end of the meeting was that the challenges were well-understood, but equally so was the value, and that with some degree of pragmatism, we will be able to help these services to flourish.
Concerning the 11am service, we reviewed the developing patterns of service styles (see also below). As discussed at the APCM, the Churchwardens are keen to get St Edward’s “back” to the rich and varied liturgy for these services at has had in the past. Chapter broadly approved this endeavour.
I forgot to mention in this morning’s email that tomorrow the ‘Race for Life’ will be happening in Cambridge center. This means that certain roads will be closed and there may be an increase in traffic, so please do allow for extra time to your journeys.
Some extra information can be found here: Cambridge News
Chapter met on the 22nd of March and 26th of April.
At the meeting on the 22nd of March, the decision was taken to move forward with the sound system work; this has now been completed. We discussed the various services of the church, and in particular reviewed the progress of the 5pm service in the light of the work that Ann Kember and Brother Chris Martin have done to revitalise these services whilst keeping within the structures described in Common Worship and New Patterns of Worship. Music at the 11am service was also discussed; this is “work in progress”.
The meeting on the 26th of April was the first of the newly formed Chapter, after the APCM. The focus was primarily on appointments, officers and roles for 2015 – 16. Discussion of the churchyard was deferred to the subsequent Chapter meeting.
We are now moving forward into the interregnum feeling positive and keen to keep our church flourishing and harmonious. That is not something that happens “by itself”, and it is perhaps an appropriate time for us all to reflect on passages similar to the following:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
1 Peter 4 : 10
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
1 Corinthians 12 : 4 – 7
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
Passages such as these, amongst hundreds of others, gently encourage us all to do two things. Firstly, there is the opportunity to acknowledge and thank God for the gifts that He has given us as individuals. Secondly, we are then urged to put our gifts into action – to share together the work of keeping our church a living and cooperative group, rather than just a beautiful building where we are blessed to receive spiritual nourishment once a week. We learn that working together is a special sort of human pleasure, and that the many small acts that bring the “common good” are ones in which we can delight.
There are many tasks, large and small, which need to be done regularly, and which we need to share amongst those who enjoy coming to St Edward’s; amongst these are:
- understudying or helping people already in posts;
- cleaning – the silver, pews, floors, and washing – altar linen, tea towels
- flower arranging
- administrative tasks including setting up chairs for particular services
- sitting in the church to welcome visitors, especially during the summer months;
- preparing tea and coffee after services;
- being “sidepeople” at services, welcoming everyone who comes through the door;
- litter picking in the churchyard.
Especially as we head towards having a new incumbent in the fullness of time, it is important that we should come together as a more coherent group, whether that involves working together, or perhaps simply attending different services from those in which we feel most at home. And of course, we need to find the time to meet together to build one another up, share where we have come from, and where we are going, and to encourage and even challenge one another. Although cake and other “nutritious” refreshments would surely form an important part of such meetings, more important, and more refreshing by far will be the opportunity for us to point each other towards Christ, “the author and perfecter of our faith”.
On a practical note, if you feel you can contribute in any of the ways described above – or maybe in other ways that we have not thought of – please contact Jillian or Adrian (contact details on last page). You don’t have to be an expert in something to be able to help, full training will be given where necessary, and most of the tasks require only a small commitment of time.
At the moment we are especially looking to find more people willing to make coffee and tea after services. There are sign up sheets at the back of the church for these.
One thing that we would strongly encourage is feedback and comments from members of the congregation. We aim as churchwardens to keep everyone informed as to what is going on in the life of the church, but we also need to hear what is working (and what is not) and what your concerns are. We can’t please everyone in every way, but we take seriously everything that is written to us, and will try to respond in a way that best builds our church.
As well as hearing about practical concerns, we very much appreciate hearing people’s reflections and thoughts, whatever they may be, and it is our hope that this slightly richer newsletter will encourage everyone to play an active role, whether in agreement or disagreement, or simply because there is more that you feel worth exploring.
On the 19th of April at 2pm in the church, we held the Annual Parochial Church Meeting. The Master of Trinity Hall, Jeremy Morris, generously chaired the meeting, and there were around 30 people present in total. Reports were received concerning various aspects of the life of St Edwards.
The number of people on the electoral roll has remained roughly constant this year at just under 100.
Chapter meetings have to some extent been dominated by matters arising from the appointment and subsequent departure of the Vicar-Chaplain, although other matters have been covered as necessary. Moving forwards, the 11:00 service is intended to continue to provide a mix between more traditional (BCP) liturgy and more contemporary (Common Worship) services. The Friday 10:30 service is going well. The Sunday 08:00 service continues to have a relatively small congregation and the Friday meditation group is continuing.
Particular attention was given during the APCM to discussion of the 17:00 service on Sundays. Ann Kember and Br Chris Martin SSF have worked hard on this service in consultation with the congregation, and work will continue to keep and build on the beautiful aspects of this service whilst acknowledging that we have to move forward in line with the requirements of the Diocese.
There is a plan to improve the sound system, building on previous work to ensure that everyone in the church will be able to hear clearly – wherever they are sitting! Other than this, the year has very much been “business as usual” for the fabric committee. The church’s finances were also reviewed, and Geoffrey Barnes highlighted the fact that the church costs a little over £100 per day on average to run. Despite this, the finances are relatively sound but with no room for complacency.
The new churchwardens highlighted some of the immediate challenges in our life as a church: getting everything back on a firm footing, and recapturing much of what makes St Edward’s special. We will need to work together for St Edward’s to thrive, but, as is written on the arch of the Trinity Chapel, “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it” (Psalm 127:1).
Judith Tonry and Charlie Bell will both be retiring as Churchwardens at the Patronal Festival on 22nd March. There will be a short meeting at about 12 noon on Sunday, 8th March after the morning service to elect the Churchwardens for 2015-6. Nomination papers are available from Judith Tonry (email@example.com) and Jillian Wilkinson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Candidates must be nominated and seconded by electors included on the Electoral Roll, and the paper must be signed by the person nominated, indicating that they are willing to stand. Nomination papers should be submitted to Judith, as Lay Vice Chairman, prior to the meeting. If there are more than two nominations, there will be an election when only those living in the Parish and all those on the Electoral Roll will be entitled to vote.
If you would like your name added to the Electoral Roll, please get an application form and send it back to Judith, as Electoral Roll Officer.