GAP 3 at Gatley

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undefinedThe latest round of Growth Action Planning (GAP) involves new parish packs being given out during the Archdeacons' Visitations, and parish teams giving presentations about how the process is working for them. St James, Gatley, entered into the spirit of things with gusto by putting their own spin on the occasion. They wore T-shirts bearing the slogan 'St James GAP ley'. PICTURED are Vicar Bob Read and members of the congregation. Archdeacon Ian Bishop is standing behind them.

As part of earlier GAP processes, the parish made a determined effort to establish itself at the heart of its community. It held: A ‘Call My Bluff’ evening involving councillors from Stockport Council; a service of renewal of wedding vows for 25 couples; a service for pets (including 19 dogs a budgie); and a big walk around the parish boundaries. The parish also persuaded the local authority to put up road signs pointing to the location of St James’s Church.

The Revd Canon Bob Read said: “The idea was to say we are here, we are part of the community and the church is for everybody. Now we are looking at spiritual growth projects as part of GAP 3.

Archdeacon Ian said: “It’s been really encouraging to share some of the great stories that parishes are able to tell from their previous GAP experiences, and I’m sure that GAP 3 will bring in a whole lot more good news.”

GAP 3 encourages churches to look at how balanced their mission and ministry has been over the last couple of years.

Churches are asked to review all their recent mission priorities and consider if they have had a reasonable balance between: an outward perspective towards the local community; an inward perspective towards God; and an inward perspective enabling the good ordering of the church itself.

GAP3 emphasises that church is not about exhausting people with more and more activities but about discernment, prayer and strategic planning.

GAP materials can be found at www,chester.anglican.org in the Parish Development section.