Annual Report 2017 of Heaton Mersey Methodist Church
Registered charities are required to produce an annual report which is submitted to the Charity Commission, which incorporates the Financial Statement for the year but also states the aims of the charity and assesses its achievements during the past year. Methodist Churches are exempted from registration and the requirement to submit an annual report except for ‘The Methodist Church Standard Form of Accounts’. However, the Charity Commission can, at any time, ask to see this report.
Heaton Mersey Methodist Church
Superintendent: Revd Ian Coverdale
Minister: Revd Raj Bharath Patta
Church Development Worker: Tracy Brennan
Managing Trustees: Church Council
Aims and Organisation
Statement of the aims of the Church - see Mission Statement
The Church organises itself to carry out its stated aims and objectives by:
Budgeting funds to pay the circuit sharing, running costs, minor maintenance work and the work of the Church Development Worker, without having to resort to using reserves where ever possible or fundraising. We have a pro-active Leadership Team that enthusiastically faces the challenges of being a missional church and which earnestly seeks to fulfil its aims and objectives; as agreed by the Church Council.
Review of Progress and Achievements
The three principal aims have been - Our faith in Christ, our attitude to Mission, and the way we do church.
Christology (Christ centred)
Our congregation comprises a variety of ages and denominational backgrounds. We therefore aim to develop a variety of styles of worship; including teaching, testimony (story telling) services and Cafe Church (which we now plan monthly), to complement our more traditional Sunday worship services. We actively encourage ‘church family’ participation wherever possible, whilst striving to make our services accessible to the unchurched.
The Church also encourages Church Members and those who do not have strong links to Church to join in Lite Church/House Groups, which is a time of relaxed Fellowship/ Bible Study. This regularly attracts a mixture of regular church members and others. Additionally, the Church runs a monthly Wednesday Worship session, providing an opportunity for the Church’s members/attendees to meet during the week, along with members of the local community.
As a church we’re actively involved in a review of our Circuit and our relationship with it, “Grounded in Faith and Growing in Jesus” aided by Rod Hill. Our Church has completed an initial self-review which will be shared with the Circuit in November, these discussions and their potential implications remain ongoing.
Missiology (Our faith shapes our Mission)
After much consideration this year saw a change in the employed roles within the Church. The two part-time roles of Church Pastor and Children and Family Worker have been replaced by a new part-time role of Church Development Worker which in some ways is refocusing our Mission. Whilst still in the early stages this role is contributing greatly to the life of the Church in the existing outreach groups (WLTDO, WLTFO, Playtime at Church) and with some new initiatives such as planning a ‘Start’ course, a monthly Wednesday ‘coffee and chat’ group and ‘young adults’ group for HMMC members/attendees.
The church continues to reach the men within our community by running a monthly session for male carers and their pre-school children called Who Let The Dads Out? The group is constantly changing, averaging 8-12 dads and their children each session, often attracting new dads to join the existing regulars.
Who Let The Families Out? is well established and runs on a monthly basis attracting an average of 5-7 families, some who now come to Cafe Church and other ‘family oriented’ activities/services.
The link with the schools continues through our support of the new Heaton’s Schools Worker.
Ecclesiology (Our Mission shapes our Church)
Our minister, Richard Parkes, moved to pastures new as part of the Methodist Church’s regular ‘stationing’ practice. The Rev’d Ian Coverdale has been welcomed into the Circuit to cover much of the Superintendent’s role. Locally Rev’d Raj Bharath Patta has received official authority to serve as minister for Heaton Mersey and St. John’s Methodist Churches.
Tracy Brennan joined us in June in the role of Church Development Worker. Whilst there is some overlap with the roles and responsibilities of the previous two posts, Church Pastor and Children and Family Worker, this is a wholly new post. This work is financed through the generous giving of the congregation.
Cafe Church is an important feature of our church year and as part of an attempt to build a regular pattern of worship it is now a monthly fixture of the Plan. They are always well attended, attracting new visitors and those on the ‘fringe’ of church.
We ran Holiday Club again this year with around a dozen children attending, culminating in one of the August services being given over to a performance of their work, exploring some of Jesus’ parables, which drew in the family and friends of those taking part as well as many of our regulars and was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all.
Events at Easter and Christmas were held again this year; involving craft, story-telling, singing and refreshments, both were well attended by families old and new.
Through the local Circuit we joined together for an Easter Pilgrimage around the Stockport Circuit. In conjunction with the wider Manchester and Stockport District we participated in the District Prayer day this October, hosting an open prayer time at the Church on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.
A bi-monthly Prayer Breakfast run through the Heatons’ Churches Partnership continues to attract some from different churches in the Heatons. For the first time this year the HCP screened a Christian film on Easter Saturday at a local cinema which was well attended.
The work of the Heaton Churches’ Partnership Primary Schools Worker, funded by the churches, now stretches into 10 Primary Schools in the Heatons and Priestnall; our local Secondary School. The partnership has recently recruited a new Schools Worker following the departure of the previous worker.
16th October 2017