Chris Priddy took up the post of Head of Parish and External Relations at the Diocese of Bristol on 1 September 2015. Here he reflects on his experience during the last three years:
Three years ago I joined the Diocese of Bristol as Head of Parish and External Relations. In those three years I have visited many parishes, met many people and been encouraged by all that God is doing through His faithful servants. I have also learnt a few things which I share with you here:
Things I have learnt:
- The six practices of Making disciples in your parish are a strong foundation to build upon.
- Its not a competition God is not calling you to replicate the church down the road, He is calling you to be the church He is calling you to be.
- Mission Action Planning having a simple plan for the activity you will undertake to move your church forward in realising its vision, is really important.
- A poster on a church noticeboard is not as effective as an invitation offered from one person to another.
- First impressions signage, entrance-way, information board and general tidiness matter.
- Websites are often peoples first connection to the church having up to date information, photos and helpful visitor information on them is essential. See www.churchpages.co.uk
- The way we frame/describe something changes the way people engage with it. Church Open Day vs Discover and explore local Norman history with us today.
- We must seek to equip disciples to live their everyday lives as followers of Christ and flee from being an exclusive club that people attend once a week.
- A little creativity, goes a long way.
- Often the best ideas are the simplest look for the easy wins.
- We all have something to offer, a good idea, a story, or some helpful advice to encourage our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.