As I’ve mentioned before, the Parish Profile documents that are produced by a church community when they are in the process of looking for a new incumbent, always make interesting reading, as they show you how the people in the congregation describe their church – which of course is sometimes a bit different from how the previous incumbent presented things. It’s also interesting to look at them from the point of view of having been part of the team that put together our most recent profile document at St James.
St Mary’s Rickmansworth, which is the church where I was baptised and confirmed, and which Mum and Dad were heavily involved with before moving to St Andrews Watford has just updated their website and published their latest profile following the rather sudden departure of Stephen Mepham last year – the reasons for which I don’t intend to discuss further, suffice to say that I don’t envy the Churchwardens in post who had to deal with it when it happened. Anyway, considering how many years it is since I was involved with the parish, it is interesting looking through the profile, seeing quite a few familiar names still involved, and a number of familiar faces in the picture of the choir. It’s also interesting spotting the subtle, and not so subtle ways that things have changed too – for example the use of a nave altar. It’s also interesting to note that their Church Centre that I can remember being built is now more than 20 years old, and that there is going to be a fund-raising campaign for repairs – it does make me start to feel old in some ways!
If you’re at all nosey as to where I grew up, you can have a read of the profile. Even if you’re not nosey, the website has some good ideas too, including a nice load of frequently asked questions documents, including such thorny issues as â€œIs the Church of England Catholic or Protestant?â€? – my answer being that it depends who you ask… 😀 Definitely a good place to look if you’ve got some questions about what goes on in Church.
I’m certainly going to be keeping an eye on how things go, and hopefully St Mary’s will have a relatively stress free, and ultimately successful search for a priest-in-charge this time round (like most of the parishes around here, the living has been suspended).