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«Parish Profile - 2014 Context The parish of St Matthew Cainscross is in the Diocese of Gloucester and is part of the Archdeaconry of Gloucester and ...»

St Matthew’s Church, Cainscross

Parish Profile - 2014


The parish of St Matthew Cainscross is in the Diocese of Gloucester and is

part of the Archdeaconry of Gloucester and the Stroud Deanery, where it sits

on the western side of the Stroud Team Ministry area.

The Stroud district is semi-urban, but sits in the heart of rural Cotswold. It has

a population of around 115,000, of which around 7000 live in the parish, in a

mixture of privately owned as well as social and privately rented properties.

There are excellent transport links, with a direct train service to London and Cheltenham, and easy access to the M5 only four miles away. The local bus services provide direct routes to all the surrounding towns and at both Gloucester and Cheltenham, connecting services provide links throughout the region and beyond.

Stroud Team Ministry The Stroud Team Ministry came into being on 10th Jan 2013 and currently

includes the following parishes:

 St.Laurence Stroud,  St.Matthew Cainscross,  All Saints Uplands,  Holy Trinity Slad.

It is anticipated that the Team will be expanded when Holy Trinity Stroud, and the parishes of Whiteshill, Randwick, and Paganhill, join in the near future.

The current Team area has a population of 15,000 and four churches. This will rise to 20,000 with nine churches when the Team is complete. We are committed to sustaining and nurturing our church communities, with a strong Christian presence and weekly worship in each church. It is our vision to see all the churches develop as confident and lively communities, each with a clear sense of mission and commitment to the wider community.

We believe that a Team Ministry not only allows us to offer interesting and well-defined posts, but also gives flexibility as to how we work, which is important as we look to integrate the other parishes who will join the Team.

Why a team?

 It enables us to place our limited resources where they are needed, to better maintain the ministry we have, and to respond to the opportunities of mission.

 It will give us the chance to develop a coherent, inclusive and confident ministry for clergy and laity.

 For the clergy it allows us to clarify roles in a less hierarchical way, to produce strong job descriptions for individual clergy within the developing Team to assist with good appointments.

A place to learn and share Because of this more collegiate and collaborative style we believe that this will be an excellent place to learn, and we don’t just mean for training curates! As a staff we are committed to listening to and learning from each other, to working with all God’s people in the place, and discerning the way forward.

The common task It is only through regular prayer, meeting together, and mutual accountability that the life of the ministry team can be sustained. We hope that this team reflects different insights, enthusiasms and skills, working together collaboratively to bring a sense of vision and calling to this parish. Through listening to God and working with his people we seek signs of God’s Kingdom, and in the wider ministry of all Christians we pursue ‘new ways to touch the hearts of all’.

This is a time of opportunity for us as a parish. We are looking to broaden and develop our worshipping/spiritual life, and at the same time be pro-active in offering what we have to the wider community, particularly through creative and flexible use of our buildings. To that end we hope to become more imaginative in worship, yet sensitive to the variety of experience that exists in this community. As a team we try to be open in our work patterns, committed to collaborative ways of working, and give a priority to prayer and hard work.

The ability to laugh is a prerequisite.

As well as offering an excellent environment in which to learn and develop in ministry, we hope that anyone joining us in ministry would develop their own particular gifts and offer them to the life of the parish.

Team members Revd Malcolm King Team Rector and Area Dean Revd Simon Howell Team Vicar (Holy Trinity, Stroud) and Faithnet Revd Brian Woollaston Team Vicar (Whiteshill, Paganhill and Randwick) Revd Jonathan Clark Assistant Curate Revd Mathew Page SSM Associate Priest Graham Collins Reader Dr Will Richardson Reader Leslie Macleod-Downes Reader The Parish Cainscross is well served with local amenities, including a Post Office, pharmacy, bicycle shop, and a large supermarket. The Stroudwater Canal is easily accessible, as is Selsley Common. Other local amenities include Dudbridge Field and the historic Hamwell Leaze.

Besides St Matthew, the parish contains a Methodist church and an independent chapel.

Local schools include Stroud High School, Marling School, Foxmoor Primary School, and our own St Matthew’s C of E Primary School. St. Matthew’s School was the first in the county to celebrate a whole-school Eucharist and stands as witness to the church’s commitment to its mission to serve the whole community. It aims to educate all pupils intellectually, socially, morally, aesthetically, physically and spiritually within a school firmly based on Christian principles.

The vision of the children of St Matthew’s for “our new vicar” is shown towards the end of this document Prayer and Worship St Matthew's is a church with prayer and worship at its centre. The community gathers in regular worship and disperses its members widely across the district, where they carry on their Christian discipleship in a variety of contexts.

Sunday worship is at 10am and alternates between a conventional Common Worship Holy Communion and a more concise, less formal Communion (Together at Ten) designed with families in mind. Attendance at these services averages at around 45-50 with several more families and young children at Together at Ten.

A monthly Messy church on a Sunday afternoon attracts 25-30 children with various attendant adults and a Messy Church for adults attracts a number of the young at heart. There is also a monthly Walsingham Mass, with prayer for the sick. A mid week said Holy Communion is also popular with ten or so regulars.

–  –  –

Lent and Advent are marked with special study courses and a home group meets weekly to continue the fellowship throughout the year.

There are also regular communion services held at the local nursing home and at two sheltered housing units, and a weekly drop-in coffee morning in the Church Hall, for local retired folk. This began five years ago to meet the needs of the community without a local café. On average 22 people enjoy company, tea and chat, and Holy Communion takes place on the first Wednesday of the month.

The Church has a long-standing relationship with the local schools, signified by our involvement in regular assemblies, which have included “Open the Book” and “Experience Easter” special school assemblies.

Our relationships with the local community are further enhanced by our Christian Aid Week fish and chip supper and quiz, Christmas Carols in the local pub and our regular support for the local food bank.

The St.Matthew’s Electoral Roll currently has around 100 people.

This is a worshipping community which values sacramental ministry, regular Eucharistic worship, and keen observance of the seasons and festivals.

While this forms the foundation of church life there is strong support for less formal worship and experimentation with different styles of liturgy away from the main Sunday service.

The theology of the church rates issues of social justice highly and the PCC has taken the decision to emphasise its commitment to welcoming all, by becoming a member of Inclusive Church.

There is relatively high demand for the occasional offices. During 2013 there


–  –  –

The Church Hall is a tremendous resource, both for the church and the wider community. It is linked directly to the rear of the Church but also has a separate external door. The hall benefits from a modern kitchen and toilets

making it popular with local groups, including:

–  –  –

A new vicarage was built less than ten years ago, providing a modern detached four bedroom house built to the latest codes and standards just a few minutes walk from St. Matthew’s Church.

Ground Floor: Family Room, Kitchen & Utility Area, Dining Room, Lounge and Study.

First Floor: Four Bedrooms (master is en-suite) and a bathroom.

Outside: A large garage with private entrance drive, set in generous gardens Finance The cost of running the Church, the Parish Share and all repairs are met by the faithful giving of the congregation, bolstered by revenue from letting the hall and regular fund raising activities. Our major fund raising events include Summer and Christmas Fetes, Coffee Mornings and Raffles. Members of the congregation are also encouraged to seek inspiration from the Parable of the Talents in finding novel ways to support the work of the parish.

There are around 40 regular givers, of whom about half are gift aiders. The rest are not tax payers.

Our income matches our expenditure, with a small surplus due to legacies.

There is a reserve in the savings account equivalent to around five months’ outgoings. Our parish share was levied at £29,000 for 2014, which we are able to meet and is paid in monthly instalments, on time.

Our expenses policy is that mileage can be claimed at 45p per mile and all reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed on receipt of a claim form with receipts.

Ministers The congregation is served by the ministers within the Stroud Team with particular support coming from a retired Priest with Permission to Officiate and a Self Supporting Associate Priest.

The parish does not have a formally constituted Local Ministry Team, however a small group of very committed individuals - including a Reader Emeritus provide a range of pastoral support through schools work, home visiting and regular "drop-in" sessions.

Our New House for Duty Priest

We are seeking a Priest who will be able to:

 Work collaboratively with other members of the Stroud team and help our church think about how it is going to develop over the coming years.

 Offer a Eucharistic and sacramental focus, responsive pastoral care and effective teaching.

 Work with others to build links with the local community and help to ensure the continued ministry of the church within St Matthew's School  Meet the challenge of increasing the involvement of children and young families in the life of the church, whilst developing the spirituality, skills and expectations of older people.

Asking St. Matthew’s school children The children of St Matthew’s School were asked what they thought about the new vicar.

What should a vicar be like? (What kind of a person are they?)


 Kind and helpful  Help people  Help us to learn


 Funny; they have fun with props (telling stories)  Kind: they don’t say, “No! Don’t do that!” a lot but encourage us.

 They say “No!” to nasty things (directing wayward behaviour!)


 Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. A vicar should respect other people’s opinions, not shutting people out. People are equal and everyone matters.

 Kind and considerate: putting others first. They should put others in front of them.

 Brave: they have to meet people they don’t know and stand up in front of them to talk a lot.

 Doesn’t matter if they are a man or a woman.

 They need to make allowances for the little ones; they need to respect them (because they are not as mature and don’t understand how to behave.)  They need to KNOW the stories from the Bible, not just read them from a book. They should not be hiding behind the paper; we want to see their face and get to know them.

 They need to believe in God.

What is a vicar’s job?

Y1/Y2  Talking about God and Jesus. God and Jesus are important to us.

They forgive us even when we have done naughty things.

 They help us to pray to God sometimes.

 They show us how to say sorry to God.

 They christen babies and give them something.

Y3/Y4  They are in charge of the church. They are the leader and know what to do.

 They should be proud of the church.

 They tell stories from the Bible in a fun way.

 Vicars should teach about God and Jesus. It’s important because Jesus and God care about us and want to talk to us. God and Jesus are good. Vicars can be like God. They can show us. They follow God like Jesus’ seven disciples followed Jesus and we can follow them.

 Vicars teach us about God and Jesus even though we can’t see them.

They teach us what makes a good family.

Y5/Y6  They should encourage people to believe in God if they don’t know which side to pick. They should not try to force people but tell them with stories.

 They tell people what is right or wrong. They give advice so people won’t do it again. They get their ideas from God and Bible stories.

What a vicar could do in St. Matthew’s school Y1/Y2  They know how to do everything so they could tell us.

 They can tell us new things.

 They could use us in storytelling.

 It’s not very good when they are the only ones to pray. We didn’t do much praying last year.

Y3/Y4  They could include people in school assemblies. They could make us be the story.

 They should welcome us and encourage us to do good things.

 They should tell us fun stories with props.

 They could use stories to teach us facts and ways to behave.

 They should teach us about Jesus and God.

 I would like if they visited the classes and get to know us more. Vicars are important to us and we like to know them.

 They could answer our questions in class.

Y5/Y6  They should teach people new things from the Bible not the same stories again and again like the Lost Sheep. I liked the story of Joshua when the thing fell down. I didn’t know that story.

 The stories should be interactive, not just sitting like blobs and stones.

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