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St Anne’s

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St Mary’s

The United Benefice of Moseley,
St Mary and St Anne

Office: 25 St Mary’s Row, Moseley, B13 8HW
Telephone: 0121 449 2243, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 
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To the congregation of St Mary’s
and the wider Moseley community

14 October 2017

Dear Friends

With autumn now fully under way, I thought it would be an opportune time to provide an update on where we’ve got to with the ‘Vision 13’ process for re-envisioning why St Mary’s is here and how together, we can best serve God and the local community.

I have gathered a group around me to assist in this process. They represent a range of ages and congregations, some newer to Moseley, others old hands. They are: Fiona Chew, Trish Everett, Victoria Thompson, Neil McLeod, Tammy Tearoe, Phil Simons, Jean Lindley, Jennifer Holloway, Glyn Samuel and Liz Blakey. Together we have been meeting to review progress and lead the process forward.

In May, along with the PCC, we visited four churches in the city who have re-ordered their interior space to better serve their mission. This was very helpful in identifying what we should be looking at, the kinds of questions to ask and the mistakes to avoid. The following month everyone was invited to contribute ideas via Post-It Notes on a giant plan of the building by the Magnificat Window. Throughout September and October we have been holding a number of ‘Moseley Conversations’ where members of the group have invited folk to supper for informal conversation. For those who have yet to attend one of these sessions there will be the opportunity to do so one Sunday lunchtime in the near future – look out for the invitation in the pew sheet.

A central emerging vision of why we are here, is that St Mary’s and it’s congregations should be a place and people of wholeness and healing for the community of Moseley. This is an exciting and gospel focussed concept. Other conversations have centred on our physical resources and in particular our building. Ideas that have been suggested so far include:

  • Making it a warmer, brighter more welcoming and comfortable place;
    • Installing new under floor heating with a new floor,
    • Warmer and more energy efficient lighting,
    • Replacing the existing pews with new ones and chairs in the north and south aisles,
  • Move the main stepped entrance one window Eastwards and create a new level glazed entry way.
  • Create a new doorway into the Lady Chapel through an existing window allowing level access.
  • Reinstalling the glass removed from the Lady Chapel window and reinstalling it into the existing main entrance to create a new small meeting/prayer room.
  • Glassing in the Lady Chapel and ringing chamber – although we need to hear what the Bell Team think of this idea.
  • Relocating the office to one of our street front properties to give us a presence on the ‘High Street’.
  • Knock through the Courtyard Room into the existing office to make a more usable space.
  • Carry out the long overdue renovation of the organ.
  • Install screens on the columns in church with cameras allowing what is happening ‘up front’ to be better seen and also facilitating the use of audio visual presentations more effectively.
  • Creating a new opening on the North side, opposite the new main South side entrance which would lead into a new building in the churchyard offering:
    • A hall that would seat 100 at table, possibly with dividable partitions,
    • A commercial kitchen,
    • Storage space,
    • Smaller meeting rooms/lounges,
    • A commercial enterprise, in sympathy with our aims, that would fund the new building.

All of these things are nothing more than ideas at present. It will be for the PCC to decide what we eventually do. The Vision 13 group are still gathering thoughts and suggestions – if you want to offer something, please do have a word with one of them. The plan is to make a firm proposal to the PCC when it meets in January with a request to commission an architect to translate ideas into more of a concept that we can visualise. There will then be a full consultation process accompanied by prayer. During 2018 it is my hope that we can agree what God is leading us to do and that we can apply for the necessary permissions to begin work in 2019.

The PCC have earmarked a significant sum to meet the costs of phase one – the internal re-ordering of St Mary’s. Until we have an agreed and costed plan, we don’t know if it will be sufficient. Phase two, the new building in the churchyard, will require new funding in partnership with a number of agencies – hopefully including a new commercial partner. Everything will require careful management and much prayer.

I am grateful to those on the Vision 13 group. These are exciting times and I am looking forward to all the hard work that we shall do together to see St Mary’s evolve, as it regularly has done, into the next stage and enable us and successive generations to continue the faithful mission of proclaiming the never changing gospel to the ever changing world.

With prayerful thanks and best wishes,

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The Revd Duncan Strathie
Vicar of Moseley