Some CPAS work with a church in Winchester diocese has entered the blogosphere thanks to a lay minister's chronicling of their quest to define a set of foundational values.
Laurence Gamlen, CPAS regional leadership development adviser, facilitated this search for values during a series of sessions with St Peter's Church in Yateley, Hampshire. Their journey through to a successful conclusion has been recorded through blog posts by Rachel Hartland, a Reader at St Peter's.
Having suggested that the church define the values which they would like to operate by, Laurence led an open day during St Peter's annual Week of Prayer, to begin the process.
He said: 'I began by challenging them with questions such as "which characteristics do you want to have associated with this church?" and looking at the importance of values. We focused on values which allow the church to focus on how they exist inwardly as a church, outwards in the community and upwards in worship.
'Most importantly, they're now at the stage of beginning to put those values into action. Hopefully this work will result in values-led behaviours across all areas of church life. Without clearly defined values there is a danger that behaviours are driven by unexpressed "non-values", which will invariably hinder church health.'
Rachel's latest blog post also points towards what happens next: 'The behaviours will be those which each member of St Peter's should be living out in their daily lives, and these will also become the behaviours of the church fellowship; if our values are truly inspired by Christ, then we need to show we're living them out, like Christ.'
Rachel's 'A Reader in Writing' blog includes posts about the values work covering setting out on the discernment process, finding courageous values and living out those values.
Please pray for:
- St Peter's to reflect their values through individual and corporate behaviours.
- Rachel and all those with leadership responsibilities at St Peter's, which will shortly begin an interregnum.
- Laurence's work supporting, advising and training lay and ordained church leaders across the South of England.