MAP, Mission Action Plan 2014-2017

MAP is a plan of actions we can take to further our Vision and Mission in the next three years.

Our vision is to be an inclusive, friendly place for everyone, a community where people can be in touch with the spiritual, offer worship to God and find new purpose in life.

MAP Mission Statement

According to MAP, St. Bartholomew's is to be a place of prayer where all can feel at home, a place of shelter where the lost can know themselves found, a place of pilgrimage where we learn and grow on our journey together, a place of support and challenge to the community and a place to meet with God.


Bishop Christopher invited every individual and every parish to respond to "Faith, Hope, Love" his mission initiative for the diocese. St. Bartholomew's got together for a Parish At Home Dy in March 2013, using the bishop's Faith, Hope, Love material. The discussions and conversations we had were taken forward by an ad hoc group, with one person from each of the discussion groups of the day, and two people who had not been present. This document is the result of our thinking and praying about the day's suggestions. We have used the framework of Faith, Hope and Love to present them, first stating what we value in each case, and then what we wish to develop. We have tried to take into account features about our community highlighted by the 2011 Census. This shows that our parish community is in the 10% most deprived in the country in terms of:

  • life expectancy at birth for boys
  • number of children under 16 in poverty - 29%
  • percentage of households in social rental accommodation - 27%
  • percentage of lone parent households of all households with children - 35%
  • households with no access to a car or van - 44%

We have borne these figures in mind and wish the PCC to look at these proposals in that context. 

FAITH: Prayer, Discipleship, Worship, Study

We value:

  • worship which is traditional yet modern, reflecting the different backgrounds from which people have come
  • worship which is based on the Eucharist
  • worship which includes children and makes appropriate provision for them
  • worship which is supported by daily prayer
  • the provision of two distinct Eucharists on Sunday, the one quiet and traditional, the other, more musical and participatory
  • the opportunities to learn and grow together on our pilgrimage
  • our prayer forum and tradition of bible study
  • preaching which is both informative and challenging
  • a musical tradition which is both familiar and open to new pathways
  • our Sunday School, Angels Anonymous and other work with children and young people

We wish to develop

Our work with children and young people:

  • reviewing the arrangements for Sunday@Six
  • re-appraising the involvement of children in all Sunday worship
  • ensuring that children reading are well rehearsed
  • when recruiting Eucharistic assistants, seeking to include some from a younger age group
  • invite the Angels Anonymous to hold a 'youth council' sometimes at their meetings
  • work at the link with St. Bartholomew's CE VA school

Our study of our faith and discipleship:

  • getting study courses going again
  • finding a way to explain the Sunday readings, in addition to the sermon
  • arranging a parish weekend away, at eg Wychcroft, and making this a regular event

Our music:

  • continue to support our director of music in building both a traditional choir and more informal singers
  • form, under his direction, a group of musicians to play on Sundays from time to time, for instance, on All-Age Sundays

Be open to other opportunities that may come to light in the three-year period.

HOPE: The Community, Social Justice, Faith Sharing

We value:

  • the role of St. Bartholomew's as the parish church of the neighbourhood
  • our historic parish church as a power sign of the Church, and the hub of our lives of faith
  • Sydenham Life as an effective means of communicating with all our parishioners
  • the diverse nature of our local community
  • our ethos of concern and engagement with social issues
  • our support for Anglican mission agencies, especially Christian Aid
  • the work of individuals in the congregation in local projects: Credit Union, Voluntary Services Lewisham, St. Christopher's Hospice, Food Bank and others
  • our voluntary aided church school
  • our long tradition of association with the cultural world of Sydenham as a venue for concerts and art
  • our award from the Eco-Congregation in 2011 in respect of our promotion of respect for the environment

We wish to develop:

  • our link with St. Bartholomew's school
  • our links with Mission agencies, and have more speakers from them and locally-based community projects
  • our goals of reducing our carbon footprint and retaining the Eco-Congregation award in 2014
  • a proposal for a major restoration of the fabric of the building based on our architect's Quinquennial inspection of 2011
  • accommodating more people in the church by developing a gallery on the north aisle first floor
  • a map illustrating the various voluntary or employed roles our members have in mission or caring organisations
  • researching and addressing the needs of 30-44 year olds, our largest age group
  • a photo display of the parish
  • our relationship with local arts and music groups
  • our policy of recycling, especially of clothing via jumble sales
  • consider whether pews are an essential part of the fabric of St. Bart's or whether a more flexible form of seating would be a helpful part of our mission

Be open to other opportunities that may come to light in the three-year period.

LOVE: Church community, Pastoral Care, Welcome, Social Events

We value:

  • the diversity of our congregation
  • all the people who contribute to the life of the church in a voluntary way
  • the welcome that most visitors report they receive
  • our range of social events and meals together
  • our church setting and location

We wish to develop:

  • our rotas, to ensure that they reflect the diversity of the congregation
  • our 'rogues gallery' of photos of people with responsibility
  • awareness of the pastoral team
  • have a whole year devoted to the theme of celebrating the richness of our cultural heritage, by celebrating the roots of our members, so that on the Sunday nearest to a country's National Day, its heritage would be reflected in the Parish Eucharist
  • a proposal to install a screen and projector system so that words of service, supplemented images, would save paper and assist the inclusion of newcomers and visitors
  • a map of what our volunteers currently do for the church
  • landscaping the front churchyard to enhance its community use

Be open to other opportunities that may come to light in the three-year period

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MAP 2014-15