Evenlode Vale Churches
 

Our Vision & Values

Our Vision

Our seven parishes came together in 2000 and are now known as Evenlode Vale Churches. We see our task as responding to Jesus' great commision in Matthew 28:18-20.

Firstly, we seek to go out to all the people of Evenlode Vale proclaiming and embodying the good news of God's love ("Mission") . Secondly, We wish to encourage those who have responded to God's love to become spiritually mature and committed believers equipped to serve others ("Ministry").

We see our seven parish churches as centres for mission. They have a unique place in the life of the village communities in which they are set and there are many opportunities to draw people to the church through festivals, seasonal events, weddings and funerals. Each parish, through it's PCC and working with the Rector is developing its own strategy for outreach, looking to take these opportunities in the way that is best for each village.

We see Holy Ascension Oddington as a centre for ministry. We are shortly to begin major works of improvement which will enable it to become Evenlode Vale Church Centre. This will enable it to become a focal point and facility for encouraging the mission of our seven parishes. In particular this will enable us:

1.To have contemporary forms of service suitable for families, children, teenagers and all who enjoy this style of worship.
2.To provide a warm and comfortable setting for our United Services in which all seven parishes worship together. These will be united Communion services usually on the first Sunday of the month at 11 AM. (See Worship Calendar)
3.To hold teaching and training courses to equip and build up individual christians and to support and strengthen the mission of our seven parishes.

Benefice Plan

 

 


Our Values

Under the authority of God's word and with the guidance of God's spirit we seek to be a group of distinctive communities reflecting the values of the New Testament Church as set out in Acts 2: 42-47. We seek to be:

Bible-based - God speaks to us through the Bible, both through its words and through the teaching we base upon it. It is the ultimate authority by which we live.

Prayerful - Prayer is central to our ministry. Without prayer, our plans for the future will count for little. It is our lifeblood and the source of the power we need to carry out God's work.

Compassionate - We want our churches to be places where the lonely find friendship, the unloved find acceptance, the bereaved find comfort and the sick and distressed find support.

Outward-Looking - We are not a 'holy huddle'. We welcome everyone who wants to explore and experience the Christian faith with us; and encouraging them is our primary task.

Committed - Christianity is not a hobby, but a way of life. We want to live out the word of God with as much joy as we recieve it.

Inclusive - It is no coincidence that we call ourselves the 'family of God' - our churches are open to anyone, of any age, from any nationality or background.

Strategic - We all have gifts, even if we think otherwise. We need to organise ourselves to ensure that our gifts are put to the best possible use.

Serving - God calls all people to his ministry, so our task is to encourage and equip people to serve alongside clergy in our parishes.

Relevant - Our styles of service must be relevant to those we are encouraging to join us as well as those already in our congregations.

 

The values set out above are not just a vague wish list, it is a practical and purposeful way of life. To this end we have set ourselves certain targets to achieve in the next five years:

1. To have increased church attendance across the Benefice to an average of 200 each sunday.

2. To have one fellowship group meeting regularly for prayer and study in each parish.

3. To have family friendly services in each of our parishes.

4. To have a spiritual leadership team in each parish providing a local focus and continuity for worship, pastoral care and outreach.

5. To see a fully functioning Evenlode Vale Church Centre at Holy Ascension Oddington as the visible embodiment of our vision and a reminder of the work God has done among us.

 

The vision and values set out above are taken from 'A Plan for the Future' which was agreed by Church wardens of all our parishes in January 2006 and 'Seven Parishes United for the Future' agreed by the Church wardens in January 2010.

Copies of both documents are available from the Church Office.