Our Partnership and Vision
All Saints is a member of the Walton Churches Partnership, a Local Ecumenical Partnership which includes the churches of St Mary’s (Wavendon) and Christ the King (Kents Hill) which also has a Catholic congregation. We are committed to working together, and are energised by a shared vision – ‘Seeking, sharing and celebrating the abundant life of God’.
We are about life. And not just any old life: the abundant life that Jesus came to bring. We are his apprentices, learning how to live in heaven before we die. We want to seek that amazing, abundant life, to see God’s power being made perfect in our weakness, transforming our relationships, empowering our lives.
When that happens – as Jesus promises it will – we want to celebrate it, and invite many others to celebrate with us as well! So, inevitably, we want to share it too. In the kingdom of God, we only get to keep what we give away. Abundant life can never be kept to itself, never be contained. It flows out into our community, our workplaces, homes and friendships. It has a life of its own, just as its maker intended.
Our mission: Releasing growth through…
- Thinking small
- Generous hospitality
- Involving everyone
We believe growth is normal for healthy churches. A seed in good soil is inherently fruitful. We are not forcing or engineering growth – simply releasing it. And we want to do that by…
Thinking small – not small thinking! What we mean is that we are not going to focus on ‘one big thing’. We see the future in a variety of organic, creative initiatives, releasing gifts in all their beautiful diversity. Everyone gets to play that way. Simple to try, easy to join, quick to grow, able to adapt – and if need be, possible to stop. Small is beautiful.
Generous hospitality – ‘The Son of Man came…’ to do what? Only three things, according to Jesus: to seek and save the lost, not to be served but to serve, and… eating and drinking. We want to emulate that example, just like the first church did: in church, in our homes, reaching out to others. So as far as possible, when we meet, we’ll eat.
Involving everyone – we want to invite everyone to be participants, not passengers. We intend to create the sort of culture where sitting on the sidelines is seen as missing out. Gifts not guilt! Church should be a place of personal growth, as well as communal. Everyone matters to God – and to us.
So what? All we can say is: this is not hot air. We will use these three guidelines to inform the practical steps we prayerfully plan to take over the next few years. This is who we want to be. Watch this space!