FROM REV TOM’S DESK
At the moment, the parish is undergoing a Presbytery review of us as a church. Many years ago the Presbyteries across NZ used to have what were called quinquennial visitations, meaning they happened every five years. In my 26 years of ministry in a parish, I’ve been seconded onto heaps of these in the past, but in recent years they seemed to have fallen by the wayside. On one hand it was a great relief but on the other hand, a concern that the local Presbytery didn’t really know what their parishes, over which they have authority, were like.
So now, the Very Reverend Andrew Norton, late of St Columba in Botany and a good friend of mine has designed and is implementing a new system of reviews for parishes to fulfil. Unlike the last kind, which tended to be a bit top-down and authoritative requiring all the boxes ticked etc, this new approach is meant to be more like getting alongside the parish so help, encouragement or guidance can be given. It is less like being poked along with a sharp stick and being walked beside by people who care.
So although I have to have my own rigorous personal review every three years to keep my Certificate of Good Standing within the PCANZ, I now seem to form a part of this new review system as well alongside other measures of the health and vitality of us all as a parish. To that end, the elders were required to randomly select folks from within the church so that they could fill out an online review form. We were asked to get at least thirty folks of varying ages, ethnicity, gender and whatever (randomly), so hopefully the ones approached will have completed the review by now and the results will be received by Andrew. Don’t worry if you weren’t approached this time; it wasn’t personal and it has saved you some precious time.
Further meetings, will come up later. I imagine a final report will be given to us which we can probably make available to everyone.