Here's a presentation made by Bob Jackson, the local archdeacon, at Solihull deanery. It made me laugh out loud as well as stimulating my thinking! The slides on church noticeboards might be a useful way to start a PCC conversation, I thought.
Great stuff, especially "Some Hints for getting rid of congregations" as well as the noticeboards!This is in fact very similar to the presentation which Bob Jackson gave at Harold Wood about a year ago - except that then he gave examples from Chelmsford diocese. Some of us from Meadgate were there, I think Harry Marsh was as well, and they may have the full notes.
PS I have linked to this on <a href="http://www.qaya.org/blog/?p=395">my blog</a>.
Thanks, Peter. I hadn't remembered Bob Jackson had visited Chelmsford diocese, and I wasn't at that meeting - I wish I had been now!If anyone reading this does have a copy of the notes Pater refers to, I'll gladly post them here!
Subsequently, Peter has sent me a similar powerpoint presentation made in Chelmsford diocese by Bob Jackson. I can't post it here (weebly won't support powerpoint), but I will gladly forward it to anyone interested.The main "local" piece of analysis he did was that larger churches in Chelmsford diocese were the big losers of members 2001-2005; while attendance loss in smaller churches was negligible, churches with an adult attendance over 100 lost 6% of their members in this period. The interesting question is why this should be the case in Chelmsford diocese more than others. Or to put it another way - the good news is that smaller churches in our area were more than usually buoyant!
From the Church Times:"The Ven. Bob Jackson, Archdeacon of Walsall, a former adviser on evangelism to the Archbishop of Canterbury, has called for an end to "the parish share" as presently understood.He writes that central church “taxation” does not “normally bring out enthusiasm and Christian virtue in parishes”. And he warns that the system of paying the diocese on the basis of the number of people in church the previous year could drive growing churches into financial crisis. New churchgoers do not pay as well as long-established worshippers. An expanding church needs more money for staff.Instead, parishes should have the freedom to set their own budget and give to other churches that could not afford to support themselves.“In the diocese of Down & Dromore, in Northern Ireland, the churches own their own vicarages and pay their own clergy. There are very few diocesan staff, and no parish share is required. The cost base is lower, and neither the churches nor the diocese seem to have difficult financial problems,” he states.
"Is there any truth in the report that you were at the house on Monday evening?" asked the coroner."There is no truth in it.""I see him come out o' No. 7: I see him come out o' the side door in the garden wall," burst forth a boy's earnest voice from the back of the room."You saw me not come out of it," quietly replied Thomas Owen, turning round to see who it was that had spoken. "Oh, it is you, is it, Bob Jackson! Yes, you came running round the corner just as I turned from the door.""You were there, then?" cried the coroner."No, sir. At the door, yes that's true enough; but I was not inside it. What happened was this: on Monday I had some business at a farmhouse near Munpler, and set out to walk over there early in the evening. In passing down the side road by No. 7, I saw the two maids at the top window. One of them--I think it was Jane Cross--called out to ask me in a joking kind of way whether I was about to pay them a visit; I answered, not then, but I would as I came back if they liked. Accordingly, in returning, I rang the bell. It was not answered, and I rang again with a like result. Upon that, I went straight home to my milk books, and did not stir out again, as my mother can prove. That is the truth, sir, on my oath; and the whole truth.""What time was this?""I am not quite sure. It was getting dusk.""Did you see anything of the young women this second time?""Not anything.""Or hear anything?--Any noise?""None whatever. I supposed that they would not come to the door to me because it was late: I thought nothing else. I declare, sir, that this is all I know of the matter."There was a pause when he concluded. Knapp, the policeman, and another one standing by his side, peered at Owen from under their eyebrows, as if they did not put implicit faith in his words: and the coroner recalled Matilda Valentine.She readily confirmed the statement of his having passed along the side road, and Jane Cross's joking question to him. But she denied having heard him ring on his return, and said the door-bell had not rung at all that night. Which would seem to prove that Owen must have rung during the time she had gone out for the beer.So, you perceive, the inquest brought forth no more available light, and had to confess itself baffled."A fine termination this is to our pleasure," cried the Squire, gloomily. "I don't like mysteries, Johnny. And of all the mysteries I have come across in my life, the greatest mystery is this at No. 7."
Thanks James - so this conversation has possible repercussions for the parish share discussion below. I'd love to have others leaving comments about this.Literary reader, I have absolutely no idea what you're communicating. Feel free to interpret the parable!