Vision

 St. Nicholas Church : the Vision

 Growing in Holiness

 Matthew 5.13-16

"You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven".

  Our Sunday Parish Eucharist averages 120+ adults and 30+ children and young people every week. Over Christmas we can welcome over 1200 + through the doors in the 24 hours of Christmas  Eve- Christmas Day. Currently there are  260 individual  names on our electoral roll and over 250 households

 But all of this is to no purpose if we the people of God in this place are not ourselves renewed in heart, soul, mind and body to be holy people, witnesses to Christ in his service.

 Over the years, thanks to God’s blessing:

  • We have grown as a welcoming, friendly community.
     
  • We have built up a pattern of prayer, worship and outreach

 Now we seek to focus on Growth in Holiness – both individually and corporately.

Christian Holiness involves three aspects of ministry- each closely related to one another and each vital to the other: 

 1. Prayer and worship

2. Service of others

3. Witness to  Christ

 

1. Prayer and worship

  • We are in the process of  providing  a seasonal series of Parish Eucharist booklets which both help “newcomers” and “established”  to worship together  and also offer suggestions for prayer and devotion.
     
  • We seek to recruit and train  new  Lesson readers, Intercessors, Taperers, servers, sidespeople, Junior Church leaders, Lay  Pastoral Team, choir memebers , Holy Dusters
     
  • ·We are  encouraging  more people to worship more often and more regularly at our midweek Eucharists.
     
  • We are  encouraging  more people to share in offering  daily Morning and Evening Prayer and in  our monthly “Time to Pray”
     
  • we seek to provide resources for individuals to grow in prayer and knowledge of the Scriptures e.g. Lent courses, Confirmation Courses, links with Diocesan Courses, Bible Reading and devotional material. 
     
  • we seek to renew the work of Sunday School and Junior Church
     
  • we seek to continue to develop Big Bear's Tiny Church. (There are now regularly 15 or so adults and  12 or more toddlers who gather  fortnightly on a Wednesday in the Hall Annexe - for more details see Big Bear's Tiny Church page)
     
  • We are exploring  the possibility of establishing monthly worship in the Garden Village.
     
  • We hope to further develop : Homedowne House and  Abbeyfield Communion
     
  • We seek to establish a “prayer outreach initiative” - inviting prayer requests from those visited on a strategic basis.

 

2. Service of others

  •  We continue to seek to develop the Church Yard as a community heritage which enhances the environment. We recognise that this has been an  ongoing  aim for some time. Some things have been achieved. We now hope we can , in discussion with our Church Architect, the City Council and others,  move forward over the next several  years. If possible we want to achieve the following: 
  • Continuing  development of  the “front” of the churchyard as a more formal “garden” space of  quiet contemplation  for the use of the whole community; as necessary and as allowed trimming  trees and shrubs.
     
  • Restoration,  renewal and improvement of  the Garden of Rest
     
  • Re-laying and improving church paths and lighting; 
     
  • Development as a wildlife  haven – engaging  in discussion/advice with Northumberland Wildlife
     
  • Development as a local history and heritage resource;
     
  • Provision of  better support to those seeking family heritage information
     
  • Seeing what if anything can be done to maintain and improve existing churchyard memorials.
  •  We want to continue to develop  and improve our ministry and contacts with those families involved in Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals through our church.
  •  We hope to develop and improve the ministry to others offered through our Church Hall
  •  We intend to continue to pay our Parish Share in full and to be a lively member of the Diocesan Family
  • We shall continue to keep the church open daily as much as possible during the week, especially during the summer months
  •  We shall continue to develop our ministry with Archbishop Runcie First School and the other schools in our parish
  •  We hope to develop and improve the ministry of Parish Visiting—further developing the work of the Lay Pastoral Team
  •  We hope to develop links with the Cathedral, other city churches, the wider Diocese and CTiG
  •  We are exploring  together how best we may respond to the needs of parish, city and wider world  e.g. “living with austerity”,  environment issues, business ethics etc.
  •  We are exploring  together ways we might facilitate community development within Gosforth e.g. links with High Street Traders; Ward Committees; local councillors and MP, CAB etc. 

 3. Witness to  Christ

  • We have taken the opportunity afforded by revision of the electoral roll 2013 to write personally  to every current member encouraging them to re-register and to make a deepened commitment to the life and worship of our parish church.
  • We shall continue to send out invitations parish-wide for the main Festivals
  • We shall encourage each regular worshipper to invite others to join us for worship
  • We shall maintain and develop our work with Archbishop Runcie School: worship for parents and children in school and at church; a regular School-Church Link Eucharist
  • We hope to develop our links with the Scouts and Brownies
  • We seek to develop ongoing expressions of prayer, worship and community through “arts and crafts”