27 October

As I mentioned in passing at the second service last week, we have just received the assessment of us as a parish completed by the Northern Presbytery as a result of a requirement of the Church Property Trustees to look at the national health of the PCANZ.  Every parish was asked to fill out forms giving information on such things as numbers, ministries, staffing and finances etc.  This information plus any existing information that the Northern Presbytery already held, was reviewed by a panel of four who then gave their assessment.

Assessments go from A down to E and are based, not just on numbers, but quite a few other qualifiers such as I mentioned above.  Specifically, the qualifiers used were;

Numerical size and number of staffing positions

The trend over the last five years regarding attendance and membership

Whether the operating results are improving, constant or deteriorating

What the state of the buildings are in, such as in good condition or needing                 considerable or moderate investment in the future

The proportion of children and youth; baptisms, minister resources, staff     resources, plus availability of cash and investments

Plus strategic importance where the parish is located

As a result, First Church and Districts Parish which includes both Waiau Pa and First Church has been assessed ‘A’.

For this, and all that so many people have done and are doing here in this Parish, we give thanks to God.  This is not just to be theologically PC, but it is a true, frank, honest and sincere acknowledgement that it is through God’s faithfulness that this parish has been around for more than 164 years and with trust in Him and His purposes, will be so for at least the same length of time.