In common with other churches within our Chaplaincy, on 26th May the congregation of Alet-Les-Bains held a Mission Planning Day to create a shared understanding of the current status of our Church and then to develop a vision of how we might continue to develop and grow into the future. Around 20 of us gathered in Alet, undeterred by the unseasonally grey and drizzly weather, to first share worship and then adjourn to the Alet Mediatheque next to the Church for several hours of intensive reflection and discussion.
Guided (and kept to time) by our guest facilitator, Emma Keane from Edge Hill University, we considered openly our strengths and weaknesses, examined our progress over the past 12 months and then considered what steps we might take to further develop both ourselves and our mission to the wider community in which we live.
Nourished by a magnificent shared lunch, many ideas and suggestions were expressed, and although we were working in a number of groups, it was a pleasant surprise to find that many of the thoughts from the different groups were almost identical.
Having jointly agreed some short, medium and long-term actions, we then returned to the Church to complete our day with a celebration of Holy Communion.
Dan Langdon-Griffiths kept a careful note of our proceedings (as well as acting as our photographer - thanks, Dan) and now has the job of compressing about 100 person-hours of reflections onto a few sheets of paper (or less).
Many thanks to everyone who contributed in so many ways to the organisation of what we all thought was a helpful opportunity for reflection and planning.
Now we just have to go and deliver it all !