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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 childrens 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, Marys 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 beadles 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.



Deliverances


Presbytery:

  1. Thanks the congregation, office bearers and the minister for their commitment and for the outgoing approach that the church has taken.

  2. Thanks those involved in the Local Church Review process for their work,

  3. Congratulates the congregation for the hard work put into the Local Church Review and for the detailed Action Plan provided

  4. Encourages the Kirk Session and congregation to work to the Action Plan but also to prioritise it in such a way as work overload is avoided.

  5. Encourages the congregation to look for ways in which the workload of the minister and others can be organised to avoid overload.

  6. Encourages the continual effort to work together as one united congregation which currently has three places of worship.

  7. Supports the plans to identify the strengths of each of the 3 places of worship and work to these strengths while continuing to review the need for and usage of the three churches

  8. Encourages the review of the system of elders districts to find a way that is appropriate for this parish at this point in time.

  9. Encourages the 4 congregations in the Cluster to consider the ideas (detailed below) that emerged from the meeting of Cluster representatives, explore what is practical and of most value and then draw up a plan incorporating these or other initiatives, this plan to be communicated to the S & R Committee by the end of February 2018.

The ideas that emerged from this consultation were:

  • Share space/resources where doing so would be beneficial

  • Library/ list of resources (e.g. discussion group material) within the Cluster or Messy Church resources

  • Sharing practical skills (IT/trades)

  • Resource joint learning events (Worship workshops)

  • Each congregation to compile inventory of skills/ gifts(e.g. visual arts, etc. these pulled together as a cluster)

  • Hold annual joint meetings (e.g.) Worship Groups, Fabric committee, Prayer groups, Outreach Groups