E hoa, kia ora!
I trust this finds you keeping warm and well – I’ve currently got the fire roaring, and it is wonderfully cosy.
Now, I have some BIG news I would like to share with you!
Vestry have agreed in principle with a strategic plan I have presented to them concerning strategically repositioning ourselves as a parish for future physical and spiritual growth.
There are six key parts to this plan which are detailed below. There is a lot of info, so here's the highlights:
We believe this plan will strategically position the parish for future growth.
If you'd like to know more details, read on!
We will be communicating this in print media and verbally at all services over August. There will also be additional info shared via our blog and in our service sheets as things progress.
The ‘What’ (extended)
#1: A New Church in Sumner
One key element of the strategic plan is a commitment to discerning, planning, communicating, and initiating movement on the construction of a new church in Sumner.
A working group will be formed at the next Vestry meeting and given a time frame within which they will report back with concrete options for a way forward. These will then be communicated with you via a series of ‘Conversation Evenings,’ during which your feedback and input will be sought, culminating in a Special General Meeting.
Since Vestry’s meeting earlier this week I have met with Bishop Peter and he is highly supportive of us building a new church in Sumner.
#2: Service Location Change
For those of you who worship in Sumner, you may have noticed that the 1030am service has been a little cramped as of late. While our 1030am congregation isn’t huge, the reality is that we can’t grow further with our current arrangement at Nayland St Chapel. It’s also difficult to offer hospitality in the foyer given the number of people hanging around after the service.
Which makes this news all the more exciting:
Vestry have decided to move our 1030am service to Sumner School.
In order to ease the move and reduce the burden on our volunteers some in-depth planning and preparation by myself and our staff team is going to be required prior to moving but we envisage moving there as soon as the end of August. I’ll keep you in the loop as things progress.
Our other Sunday and midweek services will remain at St Andrew’s Church and Nayland St Chapel as they currently are.
#3: Deferred Maintenance
While we intend to build a new church, the reality is that this process will take time. As such the third part of this plan is to address outstanding deferred maintenance at Nayland St Chapel in order to ensure the building is water-tight and fit for purpose.
We have inherited a wonderful spiritual legacy from those who have gone before us. We have a duty to act as good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with by those who have gone before.
#4: Office Relocation
Another key part of this plan is to re-locate the parish offices to Nayland St Chapel. This will allow the building to be open during the day throughout the week.
We will also then simultaneously establish a City Mission collection point for the foodbank to raise good will and profile within the Sumner community.
This is in keeping with the vision Rev. Thomas Brauer shared with the parish during his tenure – of having Nayland St Chapel open during the day as a source of spiritual retreat and practical support.
#5: Newtons to Relocate
As you may be aware, the parish recently acquired a property on Nayland St, Sumner. This property has been rented out and is now vacant.
The intent is for our family to relocate in the near future to reduce the financial burden on the church due to the loss of rental income. The Vicarage would remain designated as Vicarage for the time being and will be rented out at market rate.
To be clear: Aimee and I are very appreciative and humbled by the provision of the current vicarage. Our desire to be located in Sumner is not about ‘lifestyle’ but is missional. Being located in Sumner will, we believe, enhance ministry in Sumner and I will remain actively involved at St Andrew’s, Redcliffs.
Historically the Vicar has been located in Sumner and Vestry senses that this is a natural re-orientation of resources in terms of positioning the parish for further growth.
#6: St Andrew’s Church, Redcliffs
The final element of this plan is to intentionally maintain an active ministry presence at St Andrew’s Church, Redcliffs.
St Andrew’s Church is currently used 5 days a week for a variety of church and community events and gatherings including midweek worship, Sunday worship, Mainly Music, Create and Connect, prayer meetings, and various other community events.
We will also continue to hold key parish events (i.e.: AGM) at St Andrew’s Church, Redcliffs.
St Andrew’s is in a healthy situation, God be praised!
However, there are more growth opportunities in Sumner due, in part, to the population base (4,000) compared to Redcliffs (2,000). Other considerations include:
A copy of the email sent out this evening to the wider church about our proposed strategic plan.
July 29, 2023