Our Vision Statement is 'Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds', and this Mission Action Plan uses the five marks of discipleship as outlined by the Carlisle Diocesan Vision and Srategy, to explore what this means. It will be reviewed annually.
Hawkshead Parish Church is open to visitors during daylight hours. It is well used by tourists and locals alike, who are attracted by its beauty and its history (it has been a place of prayer and Christian worship for centuries), or they come to pray or be quiet or simply soak up the special atmosphere.
We also like to think that there are other ways in which we have 'open doors', that you will feel welcome here, whoever you are, and whatever your background. We aim to be a place of spiritual, emotional and intellectual refreshment.
Expectant in Prayer and Worship
The worship of God is at the heart of what we do. Our worship should be attractive, reverent and vibrant, and openly reflect God's love for the world. It is focussed around the celebration of the Eucharist (Holy Communion), and so we become a people marked by thanksgiving to God.
We aim to broaden and deepen the life of the worshipping community.
We try to make the best of special occasions, whether they be Occasional Offices (Baptism, Marriage, Funeral) or established seasonal worship.
1. It is our wish to further develop the non-Eucharistic All Age Service, working toward a shared responsibility for planning and leading it.
2. We are also keen to look for new opportunities to create special occasions (e.g. the Lambing Service, Bowkerstead Songs of Praise etc) including the possibility of holding services other than on Sunday to fit in with people's routines.
We would like to be people who live out the Gospel so fully and attractively that others are drawn into our midst, but our regular congregation should be equipped to help others to explore faith and to invite them to church.
We aim to run regular courses suitable for people who want to explore faith in an informal and helpful way.
The parish church in Hawkshead is a central part of community life. This can only be maintained and developed, if we have an open-hearted outlook. Many of our congregation are active within the community in a variety of ways.
Quality of Relationships
Having fun together is a valued part of church life. Regular social activities are important for us.
Every member of the congregation needs to take an active role in welcoming visitors and non-regular worshippers to our services.
We value our part of the Benefice, which also includes Sawrey, Rusland and Satterthwaite, and we aim to maintain and develop relationships with the different congregations, being energised by shared worship and social events.
We also value our relationship with local churches of other denominations. We will take part in, support and encourage the work of Churches Together.
As well as with the local community, the church needs to engage with the substantial number of visitors to the village and surrounding area. The attraction of the area to tourists does create problems (most notably the number of second homes resulting in a shrinking resident population), but there are great opportunities here as well, with a significant ministry to owners of such homes and other visitors. Music for a Summer Evening is one of the most prominent ways in which the church is involved with tourists, and we are committed to continuing that work.
For our resident community we produce a monthly magazine, The Link, which goes to every house in Hawkshead and Sawrey parishes and contains community news. It is a valued local resource. It is also available for all online, see here.
We support a number of charities, notably Christian Aid (through house to house collections, Lenten soup lunches, and Music for a Summer Evening) and the work of Garry Ion for CMS.
It is our hope that we can always offer pastoral care, where it is needed and wanted to both the local community and the tourist community.
1. We will continue with a Churches Together survey of the local community.
2. We plan to work in partnership with South Lakeland District Council and Churches Together in Hawkshead to operate a community transport scheme.
Many people would see themselves as being on a spiritual journey and none of us is in full possession of the truth. While we wish to encourage each other to grow in our relationship with God, through regular worship, prayer and study, we also want to be open to the views and opinions of others while retaining our Christian integrity.
Maturity in Faith
To help people on their journeys, we have regular courses. Our aim is that there should be enough variety for there to be a wide appeal. There are always courses at Lent and Advent and occasional ones throughout the year, shared with the benefice and beyond.
We strive to encourage each other to discern, offer and use our gifts for God, for the community and for each other.
1. We aim to invite people to be generous, with time money and talents, both towards the church and elsewhere. We will have a stewardship campaign, due to be launched June/July 2012.
2. We will work toward obtaining the 'Eco- Congregation' award. Children from the local school will be involved helping us with this.
Jesus said, 'I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.' John 13.34-35