Consultation time again

A couple of years ago, I asked the congregation a series of questions in a Consultation Document. It was a most fruitful exercise. Somehow the folk at St Mary’s like being asked questions and like getting the chance to respond.

Maybe most congregations would be like that if they got the chance.

Recently, a small group of people at St Mary’s have been meeting under the banner of Mission 21, a mission project that the Scottish Episcopal Church has been running for the last decade or so. We’ve been doing the bit called Making Your Church More Inviting. Quite a lot of the context for our meetings has been thinking about the size of the congregation and how we cope with rising numbers. Most of our pains are growing pains, as I’ve said more than once on this journey.

The small group process is over now. It works like a focus group with a facilitator. We were very lucky to have the Rev Marion Chatterley working with us. Folk from St Mary’s like to have their say! We didn’t always make for an easy group to handle. However, Marion was fantastic and guided and cajoled us very gently (but no less firmly) through the meetings.

The result is that the group has identified a number of areas which we think need development.  (Personnel, Money, Integration into the life of the congregation and Decision Making Structures. We are now asking the whole congregation to join in a conversation about these things. Thus, a consultation paper has been drawn up and the hope is that anyone who wants to participate wil do so.

There are specific questions in the paper, but my experience is that people will answer the questions that they want to answer anyway. So, specific and more general responses are welcome.

A pdf of the paper is available.

It is also on the church website with a response form.

I’d be grateful if people would refrain from using comments on the blog to make direct responses to the paper. (The paper indicates the feedback mechanisms). General comments are welcome, as usual.

If you’ve got opinions about St Mary’s (and most people who belong in some way have quite a lot to say about the congregation!) the  do make a response.



  1. Graham Smith says

    Thank you for this. I have been following your postings on for some months.

    Having now visited your Cathedral’s website, I was very impressed by content of the “first timers” page and what a wonderful surprise it was to discover (from your consultation document) that you have a development plan for integrating new people into the congregation!

    I do though have one question concerning your Cathedral’s website: There’s lots of stuff about so many other people who make up the congregation, but why don’t the clergy get a mention? (or did I miss the link to the Provost’s page?)


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