Stage 1 - Process
purpose of this first stage of the Mission Plan is to set out the process by
which it is intended that the Plan should take shape, consultation take place,
and decisions made.
Community around Zion - Definition
The community that Zion church primarily serves is taken to
be West Boston, north and west of the railway, but excluding Fenside. This is
the area for which data has been collected and where it is intended that
consultation should be focussed. Other options would be to include Fenside
ward, or not to define a local area at all, but acknowledge that we draw people
from all over the town, and indeed the wider Borough. An analysis of the
addresses in the church directory shows that only 40% of the people named in
the directory have an address in 'West Boston'. However if we decided to
identify with the wider town area rather than the local area, it would be more
difficult to focus our efforts and we may also be duplicating the role of
Centenary church. If we include Fenside, we need to consider the position with
St. Christopher's and also whether we currently have the resources to cope with
are eight stages to the making of the plan (as set out in the Methodist Mission
Planning tool kit):
1. Decide on a process – (the subject of this stage).
2. Community Audit. We need
to understand the nature of the local community and what it is like to live in the area for various different groups of people.
3. Conduct a
Church Review. This
includes identifying what we do well, what the congregation
is passionate about, and what human, physical and financial resources we have
4. Dream Together. We
need to dream positively about the future, thinking afresh about how we can
match what the church has to offer to the community needs identified in stage
Priorities. After the dreaming, ideas need to be sifted and
prioritised. Too many priorities mean no priorities.
Actions. Decide on specific actions – some short term, others will take
7. Consider the Fruit. Consider the
difference we hope our actions will make, so that we can later judge what is
working and what isn't. This will inform a plan review.
8. Set a Date for Review. Suggest a year or 18 months
after finalising the first plan.
The making of the Mission Plan appears
to fall naturally into two parts - A & B:
Stages 2 and 3 are primarily concerned with the gathering of information about
the past and the present.
B The later stages involve looking to the
future with imagination, creative thinking and decision making, informed by
stages 2 and 3 and all subject to, and interlinked, by prayer.
Thorough consultation is
a vital and fundamental part of the process. That consultation needs to be with
the congregation, users of Zion's meeting rooms, members of the local community
and other voluntary and community organisations, including the local council. A
meeting with councillors representing local wards has already been arranged for
29th March 2022. Generally, consultation works best when there are
draft findings, proposals or questions to respond to. But in some circumstances
direct input by those most concerned will be more appropriate. Also it must be
considered if a separate consultation exercise will be needed at every stage,
or whether it would be more effective and more time efficient for consultations
to relate to groups of stages.
Consultation will need
the preparation of written material informing people of the purpose of the
Mission Plan, plus a questionnaire guiding the form of response. Clearly it
must be concise in order to engage with consultees.
This material can be
circulated, and responses sought, in various ways:
supplied direct to all people on the Church Directory and to all people with an
active role in the Boston
drop to addresses in the local community. There are well over 3,000 residential
addresses in 'West Boston', which is probably more than the church has the
capacity 'in house', to deliver. Royal Mail deliveries can be arranged, but RM
can only deliver on a scale which would be much greater than required – to over
10,000 addresses, costing £688. The church could carry out sample deliveries to
(say) 600 homes – 200 in each ward. Despite obvious difficulties, paper
deliveries do have the advantage of ensuring a connection is made with people
people at regular church events such as Drop-in and Cameo, and fill the
questionnaire in for them.
church community day with activities, refreshments and an exhibition.
Questionnaires could be filled in at the event, or taken away to complete and
return later. There is the possibility that this option could involve much work
for little return.
could take a charity stall in the market, or a stall at an event organised by
Full background papers, a summary and
questionnaire to be made available on the church
and questionnaire to be posted on the Facebook page.
publicity through local papers and radio stations
draft papers be approved by the Mission and Outreach Committee for stages 1, 2
and 3, with the Church Review (stage 3) being based upon as many conversations
with church members as possible. · An
initial consultation process then be held involving all interested parties,
with an accent on identifying social needs in the local community which our
church might be able to respond to.· Following
a one month period of consultation, the first 3 stages of the plan can then be
amended as appropriate and submitted for approval to the Mission and Outreach
Committee and Church Council.· An
open 'dreaming' event be held, preceded by a prayer meeting, at which attendees
will be encouraged to identify ways in which the church might respond to
identified local need. Also, the four elements of 'Our Calling' to be
considered. All interested parties to be invited. (Stage 4)
paper then be prepared, sifting suggestions, recommending priorities and
actions, and measures of success for each action (ie covering stages 5, 6 and 7
above), to be approved by Mission and Outreach Committee and Church Council.
second period of consultation be held with the congregation and all interested
parties on the above proposals, followed by reconsideration and amendment of
final plan and review timing be approved by Mission and Outreach Committee and
· Details of
consultation methods be determined at a later time, prior to each of the two