Tuesday 11th March 2008

Isle LMG Representatives' Meeting Held at Ilton Village Hall

The Rev’d Geoff Wade opened the meeting with a prayer.

Apologies were received from Delia Pearmund, Rosie Gallagher, Kenneth Fowler, Jenny Langdown, RobAllen, Margaret Smith, Liz Richardson, Wendy Outram, Malcolm Young, Jan Allen.

The Chairman, Rev’d Nigel Whinney, explained that the only item on the agenda for this meeting was the discussion of the LMG Self Assessment Questionnaire compiled by the School of Formation as part of Changing Lives. This had already been circulated to the representatives. He asked the meeting to divide into three groups and study the following: -.

Group 1: Where are we now as an LMG.
Group 2: What changes have taken place.
Group 3: Where would we like to be in 2012.

Reporting back: Group 1: They felt that we were just another talking shop where we exchange ideas. What is the relevance? The LMG seems to have no effect on the parishes around us. The parishes tend to be inward looking and are not willing to look for sustenance from outside. . What is the purpose of an LMG? Of the people who help run the local church, many find there is so much to do that they are loathed to take on anything else. Some found the discussion paper confusing.

Group 2: Of the suggestions in the Paper, they felt that things have got started and some were going well. It seemed inappropriate to have an LMG administrator. We might have had an easier start than most, in this particular LMG as its foundation is the original Ilminster Team Ministr. Life goes along much the same as it did but with the inclusion of Curry Rivel, Fivehead and Swell. Co-operation between church and schools is also going well. We have local priests working well within the community, and that relationship is good though the realistic development, with the changing of society, is that there will be fewer priests. This is happening everywhere.

Group 3: They felt that good things were happening across the LMG: shared ministry of clergy and readers, confirmation groups and various courses. However they did feel that they needed a focus. They wondered whether to hold major events during the year and invite prominent speakers or maybe hold social events. Parishes should come together and get to know one another. Events cold be held in village halls, or churches that can take over 150 people. When the Ilminster Team was set up, it took time to develop and the LMG needs time too. Much is done together anyway. It was thought that an LMG would work better in an urban situation and does not so easily in a rural setting. It will take time to work out and adapt. When the LMG was first formed, quite a few of the other denominations attended our meetings but this doesn’t seem to be the case any more. Perhaps this is because the way the LMG is set up is totally Anglican and their systems are so different from ours. However Curry Rivel has strong links with Churches Together in Langport.

Village life tends to be rather inward looking – does a good community have to be inward looking to care for itself? Should the LMG raise money to assist the less fortunate parishes? It was agreed that the community in general, and not simply churchgoers, will have to take on the responsibility for the church buildings in future. When the LMG Representatives meet, they should discuss whether there is a particular need in a particular parish. They should decide what is needed and try to sort it out within the LMG.

Representatives should be pro-active in sharing thoughts and problems and this in conjunction with the clergy. The School of Formation should be used if there was a particular project in mind. Nigel explained what The School of Formation was. He told the meeting that, for example, when he was Rural Dean he wanted to set up a course for local pastors. He sought the advice from people of the School of Formation who then devised the course.

If a parish is in trouble, the LMG should help as appropriate. There would be some thought given to organising an event.

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the cornerstone of the church which bears your name. As the season for the Annual Parochial Meetings draws near, we pray that as long standing church wardens stand down, others may be inspired by the Holy Spirit to take their place. We thank you for all the work PCC members carry out throughout their time in office, praising you for those who have borne office for many years. We pray that you will continue to support your church especially among the smaller congregations. Lord of your church hear our prayer, we pray.

Heavenly Father we bring before you the needs of the people of Ilton as they face the extra administrative and financial burdens caused by the collapse of the floor in their church. As they follow the prescribed path, give them confidence to meet the challenges ahead – in Jesus’ name.