The Common Good in Wendover

 

On October 4th, T4CG’s Jenny Sinclair joined the team at St Mary’s Church in Wendover. The service was the first in their series of four focusing on the Common Good and the particular calling of the parish. A video of the service is available below.

St Mary’s settled on the Common Good as their theme for their Sunday Eucharist services for the month of October. Noticing that across the country, the community spirit of the April lockdown seemed to be waning, it seemed more important than ever that building local relationships for Common Good should become a priority for the parish.

St Mary’s ministry team approached T4CG to help the parish unwrap the Common Good and think about what could be done in their church and community context. Jenny Sinclair, T4CG Director, joined lay leader Ian Sansbury and the team, together with Associate Priest Rev Nadine Rose and the Vicar Rev Sally Moring for the service on 4 October. The liturgy included a mixture of prayers, hymns, readings and conversations with Jenny.

After reading the T4CG prayer, Ian and Jenny explored the meaning of the Common Good and why the building of local relationships matters. Jenny told the story of T4CG, her own sense of vocation and encouraged everyone to see that all of us is called in a unique way to play our part for the Common Good where we live.

Ian asked Jenny what has been happening in our society, both since Covid-19 and in the years before the pandemic hit. Jenny spoke about the damage that the culture of individualism has done to our shared life together over the last four decades. Jenny explored how the Common Good is the antidote, and the role that churches can play in practical terms.

Ian shared a short video about vocation and Jenny spoke about how, not only each individual, but also each parish church, can discern their own particular calling. Each of us has a unique combination of gifts and skills that are needed for the Common Good.

Central to building the Common Good is meeting with and building strong local relationships with our neighbours. Jenny suggested that a good place to start would be for the congregation to commit to having one-to-one conversations with people in the neighbourhood. Further, a simple local mapping exercise would reveal what new connections can be made for the benefit of the whole community.

After the service, members of the congregation remarked how much they enjoyed the service and hoped that others will take the opportunity to watch the recording. One member said “great launch to the month on common good this morning – really good insights”.

Ian Sansbury said “Jenny gave us such a good, rich understanding of the common good, insightful perspective on where and why the UK is currently struggling to live up to those principles and some really helpful practical ideas on what churches can be doing in response”.

T4CG is keeping in touch with St Mary’s to see what happens next in Wendover. You can watch a video of the 4 October service below. The parish team have since held subsequent services on the Common Good theme, and videos of these can be found here.

Watch the service in the video below.

This is an extract from our autumn 2020 mailing. To access the full newsletter, packed with resources, click here.