Casting the Net on the Ground

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We continue to work at the Mission Action Planning process. So this week I went down to our ABI Group (Aberdour, Burntisland and Inverkeithing) to see how they are getting on with the implementation of their Mission Action Plan. I’ll also be with them on Sunday morning. Like most of our congregations, these are small in number but big in vision. There is history – the ship-breaking yard at Inverkeithing. Burntisland is seeing more young families commuting into Edinburgh – the railway runs along the coast here – and Aberdour is an attractive Edwardian seaside place

It’s good to get a chance to be ‘on the ground’ with congregations – here I am with the Rector, Canon Val Nellist, and Revd Maureen Stirzaker. I’ve been doing more of this lately – it’s easy to allow the pressures to force you to sit in the Diocesan Office dealing with everything at arms length or longer. I went on to have a meeting with the Vestries and we talked about how things are.

Some themes are emerging across our congregations. Children’s work is appearing in many places – each of these congregations now has significant work with children. And there is clearly an enthusiasm for Prayer Groups,

Meanwhile the brave movement of this Group of congregations as their Rector’s retirement approaches is towards making a commitment to a full stipend and to the purchase of a Rectory. These are huge commitments and a sign of our growing confidence as a church.

And finally we talked about the impact of the new Forth Crossing which is rapidly rising from the waters of the Forth. It should remove any ‘bridge conscious’ hesitation which there has been about investment in Fife – and concern about commuting from Fife to Edinburgh. So these congregations can look forward to seeing more Edinburgh commuters – some of them young families – living in their midst. That isn’t all good news – dormitory communities can be sterile places – but an exciting future beckons

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