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Presbytery of St Andrew
Local Church Review 2017
CERES, KEMBACK & SPRINGFIELD
Rev Jim Campbell was inducted to the charge of Ceres, Kemback & Springfield in 2010. The congregation has a membership of 398 and a weekly attendance at worship of around 75. There are three places of worship serving seven small villages. Central to the plans for this congregation is the task of identifying the strengths of each place of worship and working to these strengths while not ignoring the need to review what buildings are required. In addition to the minister, the congregation has a Families Worker (until February 2018) and a part time Youth Worker (6 hours per week) plus some secretarial and pastoral support.
There is very varied programme of activity with 2 or 3 services each Sunday. Activities include Messy Church, Sunday Night Reflective, Open Air services, a Pet service, a ‘Woodland Church’ plus Sanctuary@Ceres – a time for readings, music and meditation. One united service is held in one place of worship on the 5th Sunday of the month and on some special occasions. A Worship Group helps with worship on a regular basis. We acknowledge that, the pattern of Sunday worship is complex with a service in Ceres every week and Kemback & Springfield in alternate weeks – hence the need to consider how the pattern of worship could be changed taking into consideration the strength and weaknesses of each place of worship. Other initiatives of the congregation are: Monday Soup Lunches, Church and Community Film Group, Bowls & Blether in Kemback, regular children’s workshop in the manse, an Easter egg hunt, and a youth club with 20 young people attending.
The congregation has an outward looking ethos. It has funded 7 houses for the Build a House campaign, it supports Christian Aid, Mary’s Meals, Cupar Food Bank, Smile Train, Mercy Ships, Leprosy Mission and Blythswood Boxes as well as Mission Partners in Zambia.
Pastoral care is provided by the minister and Families worker and by elders districts, though there is a desire to review this approach which is considered unsustainable. The Minister and the Families Worker are also involved in the local schools - Ceres Primary, Craigrothie & Springfield and the minister is also part of the chaplaincy team at Bell Baxter School. On a cluster level, the congregation organises a pilgrimage to Lindisfarne and participates in joint activity at Easter with the Cupar Churches.
Financial and human resources are an ongoing issue. The congregation benefits from the Springfield Bequest which funds the Families Worker but at the same time increases the commitment to Ministry and Mission.
The property owned by the congregation at present is 3 churches, 3 halls, a beadle’s cottage and a manse, though work is being done with the General Trustees to reduce the number of buildings. Plans are underway leading towards the sale of the Ceres Session House while refurbishment is planned for Ceres and Springfield –all dependent on funds being available. Plans are also in hand for the hall in Kemback to be taken over by local trustees.
A challenge for this congregation is to encourage people in each community to see themselves as one united congregation - with 3 places of worship.
The LCR Team were invited to work with the congregation on their Action Plan. Following that workshop a carefully thought through Action Plan was draw up in which main targets were identified and how to achieve them. We believe that will be a very helpful tool.
This is a congregation with a lot of activity and a great desire to develop in an appropriate way for the future while acknowledging the challenges that brings.
The ideas that emerged from this consultation were: