The life of St Giles, Horsted Keynes, impacts around 2000 folk in the village immediately as well as those who link to us in different ways by attending from mid Sussex, let alone its impact through programmes we've done for Premier and electronic connections like this blog.
Our electoral roll is 120 and weekly attendance 60 so the pool to catch church leaders in is small. Lay Christian formation and leadership is pivotal to our vitality even when we still have a full time priest, and with the annual church meeting imminent I've been head hunting extensively with St Giles' warden for church officers.
When we meet on Sunday for eucharist and election of officers I will speak to our Mission Action Plan which is for St Giles 'to grow in faith, love and numbers'. Whatever plan we have the core group, the Parochial Church Council (PCC) is pivotal for its execution. As TS Eliot wrote we shouldn't "dream of systems so perfect no one will need to be good", i.e. any scheme for church revitalisation is limited by the quality (holiness) of priests and people.
I stand optimistic that we will elect up to half a dozen 'high quality' new folk to serve on Horsted Keynes PCC including a new treasurer. This will be hard won through much prayer, pushing of mission agenda and personal approaches since most people nowadays commit to things only when directly asked to.
One year finding a new church warden meant my having to approach nine people in a row! Even now we're not up to strength with two wardens, rather having one warden in post with a personal assistant. We have nevertheless learned to keep care over who we invite to serve. It matters to have members committed to Sunday obligation and the very best and cordial of volunteers for particular jobs.
Bill Hybels wrote: "the future of the world is in the hands of the local Church" and I agree; hence the care and prayer in approaching St Giles' annual parochial church meeting!