This proposed reshuffle is designed to focus our meetings and our time to allow us to remain a creative and cohesive team while at the same time allowing for the maximum individuality for the parishes in areas of mission, worship provision and service. As we change and develop to enhance our relationships with the entire valley we need to meet more often than maybe we have in the past as change requires careful oversight. Some of the key areas that could be covered by specialist teams are as follows:
The Staff Team
This team meets weekly (as diaries permit). It includes all the licenced Clergy and lay ministers of the Team and retired clergy will be expected to attend at least 4 times a year in order that they stay in good communication with their colleagues. Its function is to pick up the day to day running of the Team ensuring that there is good communication on a weekly basis of all that is happening. It has 2 representatives on the Short Team Council (The Rector is the convener of this group with the Team Vicar as support)
This group meets every other month starting in September and it is a gathering of the LPAs with clergy attendance if they wish. Its primary function is to support and encourage the LPA’s and look to ways of ensuring the pastoral care of the team is enhanced. As this is not usually discussed at PCC’s it remains primarily a team group. It has two representatives on the Short Team council (Katherine Venning is the convener of this group)
The Worship Group
This groups meets every other month starting in October and is a gathering of all those who are involved worship in our churches. Its primary function is to develop, enhance, balance and deliver worship and to plan services around the team to diversify our provision and celebrate occasions in the liturgical year. As this is not usually discussed at PCCs it remains primarily a team group. It has two representatives on the Short Team council. (Revd Jane Shaw is the convener of this Group)
The Church Wardens
This is a twice yearly gathering of all church wardens once in the autumn and once in the spring. With so many changes happening across the team with regards to refurbishment of the fabric of our buildings and changes to insurance, environmental considerations and heating etc it seems that the sharing of ideas and expertise would greatly help to support churches as we enter ‘new territory’. It is also recognised that being a church warden can seem an onerous prospect so this gathering helps to support new church wardens as we move across the team to shorter terms of office. This group has 2 representatives on the short team council (A church warden will be the convener of this group)
The Family Group
This is a termly meeting that is a gathering of all those included in schools work, messy church, tots groups, family services, crèche provision during parish communions etc. It is a fluid, open group. This group looks across the team to try and ensure that all the churches and schools are working together to enhance this area of our witness. As this is not usually discussed at PCCs it remains primarily a team group. It has two representatives on the Short Team council. (Revd Clifford Stride is the convener of this Group)
The Short Team Council
Meets twice a year in November and June and hears and discusses the reports from the groups. It is also responsible for an overview of HS and Safeguarding, the web site, Parish News and the Team Diary and the Team budget. Churches are encouraged to write to this meeting or to come and discuss particular issues that may be troubling the parish. The Rector or Vice Chair is the convener with the team administrator as the secretary. There are 5-10 delegates from the teams (at least one from each) with the Safeguarding officer and the team treasurer and up to three other members to balance the spread across the parishes.
The Long Team Council
Meets once a year in February and is a social and formal meeting with hospitality which is open to all but to which 2 representatives from each church (from the PCC) are expected to attend in addition to the Short Team council representatives. It is intended as a way for encouraging Team cohesion by informing and inspiring and with team wide significant discussion brought to the floor for input from all the churches.
The Team is coming together well and many things we ‘do better together’. The PCCs remain the primary focus for decisions in the local churches and the places where mission and service becomes local, appropriate and flexible. Some people are drawn to thinking broader and others have a passion for their local Parish and beloved church. This is strength for us and I encourage everyone to find their place. All decision making remains the province of the local PCCs and the Team Council has no delegated ‘powers’. Recommendations from the various teams as to ways that we can enhance our witness are passed to the Team Council for further discussion and will then be offered for consideration and ratification at the PCCs. This is an important circle of activity in order that the Team Council remains a servant of the PCCs removing some of the burden while at the same offering creative insights to enhance their mission.