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Rev Adam Pawley

The Rector Writes,

The Borderlands Mission Area Commissioning Service on 19th July

This month at 7pm on Tuesday 19th July you are invited to the Borderlands Mission Area Commissioning Service in St Matthew’s Church, Buckley with Bishop Gregory. The service will be a united celebration of the achievements of our 19 churches in the Hawarden Deanery and we will pledge ourselves to working together in the future as one united parish/deanery – The Borderlands Mission Area. Each church will share a one paragraph story – of some of their recent or current highlights in ministry and mission, we will pray for one another and our music will be led by a combined churches music group and joint choir. There will also be legal aspects to the service as Bishop Gregory decrees the new parish boundary and commissions us to work together as one. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

How is the Mission Area going to function?

On 19th July, the former Hawarden Deanery will become the Parish/Mission Area, thus the Deanery Conference will become the Parochial Church Council (PCC), although its title will be The Mission Area Conference (MAC).

Various bodies are being/ will be established that will become accountable to the MAC. These are:

1. The MAC Leadership Team – The Mission Area Leader (MAL), two lay chairs (MA wardens), MA treasurer, clergy and MA Administrator (to be appointed).
2. The Ministry Team – Clergy and Readers and potentially others in licensed ministry within the MA.
3. The Buildings Committee – This will hold responsibility for our church buildings and church halls
4. A Finance Committee – This will be responsible for the MA budget and calculating each ‘church share’ as the diocese introduces the ‘mission area share’ in place of the ‘parish share’
5. The Transition Group – A working group already in place, of both clergy and lay members, including our transition mentor, Bishop Stephen Lowe, the retired bishop of Hulme, that has been discerning and guiding us how best to make the transition from deanery to MA.

What happens to Hope Parish?

On the whole we will continue to function as we already do! To our average Sunday attender I suspect it will be like nothing has changed!

From 1 January 2017 however, the PCC will split into two smaller church committees. The MAC will advise us on what roles will be required and how many will be on each committee, but each church will certainly need two church wardens, an administrator/secretary and a treasurer.

Also with the increased responsibilities required of Martin Batchelor as he becomes our Mission Area Leader, his pastoral responsibility to three churches must be reviewed and this in turn may mean the allocation of clergy across the MA will change. The decree that Bishop Gregory will issue on 19th July, however continues to group Hope with Emmanuel. The MA model recognises that the ministry of both clergy and lay ministers will become an increasingly shared ministry but that our primary ministry will be in the communities in which we live. My job title must thus recognise this. With us becoming a joint parish/MA it will therefore no longer be “Incumbent of The Parish of Hope” but will become something like “Incumbent within The Borderlands Mission Area, rooted in the communities served by St Cynfarch’s Church, Hope and Emmanuel Church, Penyffordd”. More of a mouthful to say but otherwise much the same!

A 24-Hour Day of Prayer on 14th-15th July

As we prepare for our formal move to The Borderlands Mission Area on 19th July, there will be an important Day of Prayer across the MA on 14th-15th July. Each church will host two 40 minute times of prayer (More information to follow soon). This month please pray for our churches, our communities and our MA, for the clergy and lay ministers and yourselves as we all adjust to the structural-organisational changes. It is important for us to remember too that the changes being introduced are designed ultimately to help us together serve our communities more effectively with the good news of Jesus Christ. Thank you.

In Christ, Adam.

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