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Our Vision For The Next Five Years

Members of Holy Trinity Church considered the future at a Congregational Vision Day on 10th January 2010, led by the Area Dean and with the Archdeacon in attendance. It was a very encouraging day, with a lively discussion in which we recognized both our strengths and our shortcomings.

An analysis of the full report on the Congregational Vision Day
identified the following recurring themes:

The need for change

We identified a number of strengths in our life together at Holy Trinity; but there are other aspects that need to be worked on. Those present indicated an eagerness to build upon our strengths and tackle the problems facing us. Change was acknowledged to be challenging and sometimes painful; but we recognized that a fresh approach is essential, if we are to reach more people in Fareham with God’s message of love.

The broader context

A vision for Holy Trinity Church must be set within the broader context of the Fareham Deanery Ministry Plan and the introduction of local clusters. The reduction in the number of stipendiary clergy in each cluster will shape our plans for the future.

Spiritual life

A deep spiritual relationship with God should be the foundation of our life as a church, based on our public worship, private prayer and bible reading. We look to our vicar to nurture our spiritual development so that we, in turn, may be empowered to share our faith with others, recognising that it is only by letting God work through us that people’s lives can be transformed.

Relationship between vicar and laity

Our vicar and church members should enjoy a close and collaborative relationship, with everyone being encouraged to identify their gifts and to use them to further God’s Kingdom. The vicar should not be expected to manage single handed; rather, church members should have the opportunity for training and development so that, where appropriate, they can take a leading role in services as well as the many other aspects of lay ministry.

The value of belonging to smaller groups within the church

To build up our fellowship and encourage spiritual growth, smaller groups within the church (such as house groups) should be encouraged; there is also potential for developing our pastoral groups.

Age profile of congregation

We are an ageing congregation with few under the age of sixty. Whilst treasuring our existing church members and acknowledging their great contribution over the years, we are deeply concerned at the small number of young people coming along to join our family and provide a church for the future in Fareham town centre.

We need to consider why this is not happening. We should listen to what individuals and groups (e.g. Scouts, Guides etc) want when they come to church and respond. Unless we make changes of some sort, this situation will continue.

Accessible services

One approach is to review our pattern of worship. For those unfamiliar with the Christian faith, the Holy Communion service might be difficult to follow. We should consider having more non-Eucharistic services e.g. on third Sundays of the month and when baptisms are conducted within the family service.

Alongside our cherished traditions, we should incorporate unusual and creative methods of expression and teaching. We miss the Encounter service, which used to be held in Holy Trinity Hall. Something along these lines would be welcome and need not involve the vicar.

The time of day is important: for many people, 9.30am is too early. For those unable to come on a Sunday, we should consider a mid-week service (not necessarily Holy Communion).

A varied style of music

A mix of musical styles should be encouraged, traditional and modern, with a robed choir only being used for certain occasions.

How can we make the church building more welcoming?

The church enjoys a key town centre location: we need to consider how to maximise its use and encourage more people to cross the threshold. Suggestions included a glass north door; serving coffee at the back of the church during a time of fellowship before and after services; and replacing pews with chairs, thereby greatly increasing the space available and the flexibility of its use.

Developing our relationship with other churches and faiths in Fareham

We should encourage the growth of a faith community in Holy Trinity church able to work alongside all Christian denominations and other faiths in supporting the wider social community. This will give us the chance to learn from one another’s strengths e.g. how to attract young people. We could also pool scarce resources – for instance, by having joint training programmes with other churches.

An outward looking church and mission to the town centre

The concept of mission is difficult to grasp: what is its true meaning and, in practical terms, how should we go about it? We look to our vicar to help us dispel any fears and uncertainties; and to work alongside us in considering the most effective ways of sharing God’s love within the context of contemporary non-religious society.

We need to cultivate our awareness of what is going on and where there is a need; and then ask ourselves how we can respond. For example, the Scouts who meet in “the Den” at Holy Trinity need more space: what should we do about this? Starting at a practical level, we can then move on to consider ways of encouraging a greater engagement in worship.

We are one bread – one body: a united church

There is strength in diversity and we should respect one another’s differences. As a church, we are united by our faith and should work together with sensitivity and acceptance towards our vision.


Communication at all levels needs to be improved, whether internally within the church or externally with the town, other churches etc. There should be greater engagement between the PCC and our congregation.

Guidance during times of change

As we consider all these issues, we need a better understanding of God’s will for us at Holy Trinity Church and an increased discernment regarding our priorities. We shall look to our vicar for a strong but sensitive lead, with all church members being encouraged to use their particular God–given gifts in making our vision a reality.

As we consider the reduction in the number of stipendiary clergy by 2015, proposed in the Deanery Ministry plan, we recognize the importance of church members becoming more actively involved and, where appropriate, empowered to take a leading role in services. This offers an excellent opportunity for a new Priest in Charge, with leadership and vitality, to prepare and guide the congregation spiritually and practically through the exciting times ahead.

The next phase in our vision process was considered at a further congregational meeting on 18th October 2010 led, once more, by the Area Dean with our Team Vicar at that time, Philip Cochrane, in attendance. Whilst there were no significant changes from the themes identified in January, the development of our ministry to the town centre was identified as a priority.

Vision Development: Update, October 2010 (Summary)

Around 50 members of Holy Trinity Congregation met in the Parish Centre Hall on 18th October 2010 to reflect on outcomes from the January Congregational Meeting and further refine the priorities. This was to help set the strategy for the future and also provide clarity to help in the appointment of a new Priest in Charge for the church.

In summary, Reverend Stephen Girling has suggested that the five to ten year vision for Holy Trinity could be described as:

1) A church which is deepening the spiritual life of its members

Objectives mentioned under this heading:

2) A church which is engaged and listening to those who are part of God’s wider mission and which is finding appropriate and accessible ways to be the church for all people

Objectives mentioned under this heading:

3) A church which is making the most of the mission opportunity created by its town centre and community location

Objectives under this heading:

4) A church in which all members (lay and ordained) recognize and use their unique God–given gifts for the ministry for which they are called

Objectives under this heading:

We shall be giving further consideration to the outcome of our meeting on 18th October but would expect to finalise our vision statement with the guidance of our new Priest in Charge. Creating the following role description has been fully integrated with this vision development process.