Parish Profile - The Benefice of Gloucester St. George, with Whaddon

Benefice Profile for
Gloucester Saint George with Whaddon
Gloucester Saint George
Saint Margaret of
Scotland, Whaddon
To make known God's Love, Hope, Light
and Teaching throughout this Community
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Benefice profile
for Gloucester Saint George with Whaddon
To make known God’s Love, Hope, Light and Teaching throughout this Community
Introduction
The Diocese of Gloucester is a beautiful and historic part of
England. It is a compact diocese roughly equivalent to the county
of Gloucestershire with its two main population centres of
Gloucester and Cheltenham located near the middle of the diocese
and well served by major roads. Within the Diocese there are three
clear local identities; Cotswolds, Forest and Severn Vale; the first
two are high on lists of ’best places to live’ in England. Most
people in the diocese live in the Vale region.
The two centres of Gloucester and Cheltenham are very different
but both share the common urban problems of diversity and
pockets of deprivation. Gloucester is the more historic and
provincial settlement, Cheltenham has an aspirational civic life
including its famous Gold Cup and cultural festivals. The
Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean are also both areas of diversity
where poverty can be hidden amidst apparent wealth.
Gloucester has a past rich in history dating back to Roman times.
The magnificent cathedral lies in the heart of the city. Tuffley a
suburb of Gloucester is situated close to the M5, and other road and
rail links give good access to Bristol and the South West, Wales,
Swindon and London, Birmingham, the Midlands and beyond.
The city of Gloucester has a good range of large high street stores, leisure facilities, pubs and restaurants.
Further information about Gloucester can be found on the Internet at www.gloucester.gov.uk and select
City Life Magazine. Further information about the Diocese can be found on http://gloucester.anglican.org/
Location of the Benefice
The joint benefice of Gloucester Saint George and Whaddon
comprises Saint George’s in Tuffley and Saint Margaret’s in
Whaddon. It lies on the southern fringe of the City of
Gloucester, near the foot of Robinswood Hill, with the
Cotswold escarpment to the east. The benefice lies within the
Gloucester City deanery, within the archdeaconry of
Gloucester.
Saint George’s church lies two and a half miles south of the
Cathedral, in the middle of the extensive suburbs that have
developed in Tuffley over the past 50 years. Saint Margaret’s
church in Whaddon is just over one mile further to the south
east, close to the A4173 main road to Stroud. The church is
located in open countryside, but is only a quarter of a mile or
so from the fringe of urban development.
TUFFLEY
WHADDON
The present parish of Whaddon is very small in terms of area and population. To meet the needs of urban
growth, much of the historical parish of Whaddon was reorganised in the mid 20th century, when a
temporary church was built in what later became Saint George’s parish.
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The Benefice Website is at http://glos-stg-stm.org.uk/
The Features of the Area
Saint George’s and
Saint Margaret’s
Parishes
Red lines show
respective parish
boundaries. Red
blocks show the
location of the
parish churches.
Saint George’s Tuffley
The A38 (Cole Avenue) bisects Saint George’s parish; the area to the north of this road is known as
Podsmead, and includes mixed housing, plus sheltered and residential homes for the elderly. The physical
and psychological barrier created by the A38 makes this a difficult area for mission.
The area to the south of Cole Avenue largely comprises privately owned housing of the 1950s, 1960s and
later. This area is almost exclusively residential.
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There is, however, light industry elsewhere in the parish, particularly around the west end of Cole Avenue
and along the Bristol Road beside the Gloucester and Sharpness canal.
The population of the parish is about 9,600; the racial mix is predominantly white, with a few Asian and
Afro-Caribbean families. Unemployment is low, and people are involved in a wide range of jobs
including factories, offices, teaching, management and technical work, and a good deal of self-employed
trades.
However, the Church Urban Fund indicators of multiple deprivation show that Saint George’s is among
the 25% most deprived parishes in the country, and is the 10th most deprived parish in the Diocese. One
third (32%) of adults have no qualifications. One in four (26%) household with dependent children are
single-parent families. Podsmead is the most deprived area within the parish.
Local secondary schools include a large 11-18 comprehensive Academy (Beaufort), a boys Grammar
School (The Crypt) and there is a girls grammar school (Ribston Hall) in our neighbouring parish of Saint
Barnabas. Junior provision in the parish has one separate infants and junior school (Harewood) and a
rising 5s – 11 primary school (Grange). These schools have been rated good or outstanding by Ofsted.
We enjoy strong links with the primary schools, through Open the Book; clergy led assemblies and the
schools visit the church as part of their national curriculum studies and for the past few years have held
their carol concerts here. Historically, we have enjoyed links with Crypt and Beaufort, and these need to
be renewed and developed; we are aware that some of the pupils have challenging home circumstances.
Facilities here are extremely good and besides the schools they include a library, community centre, two
pubs, a leisure centre based at Beaufort school, a doctor’s surgery, a dentist, a pharmacist and a good
range of local shops including 2 small supermarkets, a bakery outlet and a Tesco express. The area is also
able to support two hairdressers, takeaway food outlets and a newsagents that will deliver newspapers.
The main supermarkets are a little further afield at Quedgeley, Kingsway, the Quays, Abbeydale, and
elsewhere. There are a large number of green spaces and play areas in the neighbourhood and Tuffley
Rovers, the local football club are very strong: for the 2014/15 season Tuffley Rovers FC will
be running four senior sides. A range of youth sides, from Under 8s to Under 16s will operate under the
Rovers banner.
Saint George’s Church and Centre is on Grange Road, near the
vicarage. The church dates from 1956 but was enlarged and
reordered in 1980. It includes a striking reredos of the Last
Supper. The congregation is largely resident in the area. The
church centre provides a useful range of facilities, and a few
years ago the centre was enlarged to provide a new entrance,
office accommodation for the part time parish administrator,
better access and facilities for disabled people. On the whole
the complex is in good order, but is in need of a facelift. Saint
George’s Church is normally left open during the week in
daylight hours.
Whaddon
The parish of Whaddon is now much reduced from its historical importance. The church is dedicated to
Saint Margaret of Scotland and is a small ancient church which was dedicated in 1315. This year is the
700th anniversary of its dedication and the website www.dedication1315.org.uk gives details of
celebratory events. The church is in open countryside, but only a quarter of a mile or so from the fringe of
urban development. Pressure for housing could lead to major development in the next 10 to 20 years.
Until the mid 20th century, the parish was much larger and included what is now Tuffley. The present
parish is very small with a population of about 75. One of the nearby farms includes a busy shop and
garden centre.
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Near the church is a Steiner school, with which
there are good links. The congregation at Saint
Margaret’s is largely but not exclusively nonresident. Most live in Tuffley but come to Saint
Margaret’s for a more traditional style and place of
worship. There are several families in the village
who support special services and /or the Family
Praise service.
The church is unusually dedicated to Saint Margaret
of Scotland. It is a small and simple traditional
building dating largely from the 14th century.
An unusual feature is the flag flying tradition: the tower contains a library of ten different flags which are
flown regularly. Tower tours are a feature of the annual Saint George’s Festival.
Saint Margaret’s has a traditional interior with fixed pews
and a small historic pipe organ. The chancel furnishings
however are movable, and in practice some flexibility can
be achieved. For some years there has been an
arrangement that anyone living in the united benefice can
have a wedding or funeral in either church. On the other
hand, parking is limited and can create problems
particularly for large weddings and funerals. Access for
the less mobile is something which needs to be improved.
The Vicarage
The vicarage is situated on Grange Road next to Saint
George’s church and Centre and is a modern purposebuilt detached family home. Upstairs there are four
bedrooms and a bathroom; on the ground floor there is
an extended living room with double doors onto the
garden, a separate office/study and a second reception
room/dining room. There is a large kitchen with built in
oven and hob and a utility room. The windows are
double glazed and there is gas central heating. There is
a garage with additional driveway parking. The good
sized garden is not overlooked and affords some
privacy; it is mainly laid to lawn with shrubs and fruit
trees and patio areas .
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Saint George’s Church
Church Life in the Benefice
Like many churches, the age profile for the main Sunday congregation is upper quartile. The scouts and
cubs do attend in uniform for Remembrance Sunday but we want to translate that into regular attendance.
We are reaching a large number of young families through Messy Church but we realise that it will take a
long time before they will make the commitment to attend on a Sunday morning. The prime source for
identifying these families is through baptism, so clearly that is something they value. However, they are
quite happy to be there on a Sunday afternoon for the Christingle service [when there were over a
hundred] and Christmas Eve for the crib service.
Worship
CURRENT SUNDAY SERVICES
SAINT GEORGE’S
Parish Eucharist
10.30am on 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays (with singing group on 2nd Sunday)
Family Service
10.30am on 3rd Sunday of the month
Healing Ministry is offered after the main service on the 4th Sunday
There is a shorter midweek Eucharist at 9.30am on Tuesdays
SAINT MARGARET’S
Eucharist
(2nd, 4th and 5th Sundays
Family Praise
Eucharist
Evensong
Special Services
9.00am on 2nd and 4th Sundays
10.30am 1st Sunday
10.30am Thursday
6.00pm 1st and 3rd Sundays
(4.00pm in Wintertime)
6.00pm 5th Sunday
There are occasional additions to this pattern and these are published in our weekly newssheet ’Signpost’.
Currently Baptisms and other occasional offices are offered as and when required, with funerals catered
for as they arise.
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Saint George’s worship style uses Common Worship
with seasonal variations as appropriate. Music is used at
all Sunday services and robes and vestments are
habitually worn, again according to the season. Incense
has been used only on very rare occasions. The
Sacrament is reserved and kept in a locked Aumbry in
the Lady Chapel for use as/when required.
Average Sunday attendance is between 50 and 60 adults
per week, with occasional children – usually
parishioner’s grandchildren visiting for the weekend.
Disappointingly the Family Eucharist (3rd Sunday) has not attracted families or young people, as we had
hoped it would do, and we are very aware this is an area that needs developing. In addition to the usual
Sunday services (as above) Carol Services, Christingle, Crib Service and Midnight Eucharist are offered
during the Christmas season with a range of daily Eucharist services, Whaddon to Saint George’s interchurch procession and dramatized Passion on Palm Sunday, hand-washing ritual (Maundy Thursday),
Good Friday liturgy and Stations of the Cross and First Light of Easter (Easter Saturday) offered during
Holy Week.
The style at Saint Margaret’s is consciously traditional, as an alternative to the more
contemporary flavour at Saint George’s, but at the same time there is a progressive flavour
and a readiness to learn new hymns or to try new ideas. Services at Saint Margaret’s
comprise Common Worship eucharist in traditional language, and BCP evening prayer. The
main Sunday service alternates between these two, and the Sunday eucharist is sung to
Merbecke and hymns. There is a midweek eucharist which has a small but loyal following.
There is quite a range of special services at both churches. Saint Margaret’s is renowned for its Christmas
Carol and other candlelit services. There is a lively tradition of marking the Christian year, for example
special services for Candlemas, and a Palm Sunday procession from Saint Margaret’s to Saint George’s.
Palm Sunday Procession Close to Saint Margaret’s
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There is a monthly all age service known as Family Praise, which
has been in operation for nearly 20 years. At the moment there are
about six regular families, though they don’t all attend every time.
The service is usually led by the lay reader, with help from a
member of the congregation at Saint George’s.
Here they are preparing posies for Mothering Sunday
Holy Week has included the Palm Sunday procession from Saint
Margaret’s to Saint George’s; daily Eucharists at Saint Margaret’s or Saint
George’s; and at Saint George’s the washing of hands, Good Friday
Liturgy in the morning and in the afternoon Stations of the Cross. Saturday
evening features the Service of Light at Saint Margaret’s.
This developing tradition of special and experimental services is something
which owes a lot to the past work of the Local Ministry Team (LMT).
There is a developing ministry of healing at both churches. At Saint
George’s the special services include Bereavement and Christingle.
Christingle 2014
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Stations of the Cross
The LMT provided the foundation and impetus for many things that are now happening here. The work
and witness of the LMT in church and in the wider parishes became an important part of the life of Saint
George’s and Saint Margaret’s, valued by the congregations and by the parishioners with whom team
members have been involved. At both churches there is an established tradition of lay involvement in
worship – stretching well beyond the Local Ministry Team itself.
Electoral Rolls:
The last full revision of Saint George’s Parish Electoral Roll took place in April 2013 when there were 85
people registered. Since that time 7 people have either died or left the Parish. 21 of the registered electors
live outside the Parish.
The Electoral Roll at Saint Margaret’s numbers 34.
Children’s Work:
Teams of Lay people from both Saint George’s and Saint Margaret’s visit
two of our local schools on a regular basis as part of the ’Open the Book’
project. A range of props and costumes have been collected by the Church
and are used to enhance the visits and stories, which are well received and
much appreciated by both the children, who take an active part – dressing up
and acting various parts within the stories and their teachers.
Some of the schools have a church member serving on their Governing bodies and church staff regularly
visit the lower age ranges and lead assemblies. Schools also visit Saint George’s as part of their school
curriculum activities.
Additionally, over the past 5/6 years we have presented various ’Experience’ events in Saint George
Church where, through a series of static and interactive displays, story reading and reflective question and
answer sessions the Christmas, Easter and Pentecost stories are explored with the children. Christmas is
presented every year and one or other of Easter or Pentecost on alternate years. Each event lasts about a
week, is presented jointly by Clergy and Laity with about 600 children visiting over the week.
The Family Praise service at Saint Margaret’s has a small but stable congregation; at Saint George’s the
family service is now focused on one Sunday a month and we have identified this as an area in need of
development.
Messy Church
We run the benefice Messy Church in Saint George’s monthly on
Saturday mornings from 10.00a.m.–12.00noon. and tea and toast starts
the day. On an average Messy Church session we have around 40
children and 50 adults. These are all young families and the age profile
of the children is on the young side at present. Each time there is a
theme with activities linked to the theme and the worship element,
which we call Circle Time, follows through; there is a story that often
involves participation, a song and a prayer. The most recent sessions
have concluded with the Grace with actions.
Although we do not provide a meal in our regular Messy Church sessions, the Barbecue during our
Festival week, is usually well attended, where people do stay and chat.
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Work with the elderly:
On Thursdays each week a Day Centre for elderly and/or vulnerable people in the benefice meets in the
Church Centre. Those needing transport are collected by a minibus. A hot midday meal is provided
together with hot drinks during the day. Various activities take place and once or twice a year short day
excursions are arranged to nearby Garden Centres or other places of interest.
Coffee Pot:
Tuesday mornings sees the benefice
weekly coffee morning, known as Coffee
Pot take place. Some 30 plus people
attend every week, with a further 15 to 20
people dropping in most weeks. Tea,
coffee, cake, biscuits, toast can all be
obtained at very reasonable prices and if,
so inclined, you can obtain a full English
breakfast, again at a very reasonable cost.
Should you happen to be celebrating a birthday or other event that week it is highly likely you will be
presented with a homemade cake to share. This initiative started some 6/7 years ago and is greatly
appreciated.
A significant number of those attending regularly are outside our ’worshipping family’ but are highly
valued as part of our ’wider family’ and it is not unknown for them to attend an occasional church service
or event. Visiting by the laity is on an ad hoc basis, but this and bereavement counselling is in need of
development and co-ordination.
Coffee Pot is self-funding and its profits are donated to Saint George’s church’s fabric fund; this has
enabled some capital projects to be completed, which we would not have undertaken otherwise. The most
recent of these was the replacement of windows across the front of the church.
Saint Georges’ Centre
The social Centre at Saint George’s is in constant use, and there
is a regular programme of church-based social events, e.g.
quizzes, Countdown, Karaoke, special meals such as Christmas
Dinner or Epiphany Lunch, Saint George’s Day Dinner and
Harvest Supper. There are also occasional afternoon teas, run by
a team known as the Famous 5. There is extensive usage by
outside organisations including strong scout and guide groups,
gardening club and a day centre for older residents.
There is also an annual Saint George’s Festival, exhibits include crafts and artworks produced by church
members, a photography competition, and work by pupils from the local schools. The festival has also
included workshops such as flower arranging and card making and there are special services such as a
Taizé evening; the festival concludes with a Songs of Praise.
House & Study Groups:
Each year, for a good number of years, 2 study groups have taken place during both Lent and Advent. One
group meets on Tuesday, alongside Coffee Pot and the other on Thursdays, in various people’s houses.
Usually each group follows the same course of prepared material and therefore can be interchangeable if
required. There is also a less formal group, which meets on a weekly basis, again in various members’
homes.
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Mother’s Union:
The Mother’s Union currently has 14 members. Meetings are held once a month and often feature a
visiting speaker. Besides offering fellowship, members of the Mother’s Union perform many duties in
church services and they also organise the distribution of birthday cards to all children under 5 who have
been baptised within the benefice.
Ecumenical links:
There are links with other churches locally for example Grange Baptist and English Martyrs Roman
Catholic churches, which are both geographically very close to Saint George’s and also slightly further
afield in the neighbouring parishes of Matson and Saint Barnabas. A number of parishioners meet on a
monthly basis with other parishioners from other local churches for regular quiet prayer. This is now well
established and self-sustaining.
Community:
We are a strong traditional community, drawn together even closer in response to the recent violent death
of 19-year-old Zac Evans, whose family are very involved in both churches. Zac’s death touched a nerve
across the city and beyond. This tragic event has rocked both congregations, who have been supporting
Zac’s family.
Buildings:
Generally Gloucester Saint George is in a good state of repair with no major faults or defects. There is
some dampness in a few places and some, small evidence of settlement. The last Quinquennial inspection
was carried out in June 2012 when some minor defects were noted. These principally concerned various
areas of flat roofing and have been addressed with 3 out of 4 such areas being replaced with a modern,
one piece thermo-plastic type material with a 25 year guarantee. Concern was expressed about the metal
framed windows across the front of the church and these have been replaced with UPVC double glazed
units. The settlement mentioned above was thought to be caused by a large, nearby tree which has now
been felled and the area is being monitored.
The dampness was confined mainly to one wall in the Lady Chapel and has now been dried out (with the
aid of a dehumidifier) and redecorated. That appears to have solved the problem. There are no major
works under consideration at the present time or planned for the foreseeable future.
Attached to Saint George’s Church, via an internal link, is the large Centre and Hall complex
(also see photo gallery) with a variety of different sized halls or rooms, male, female and disabled toilets
(with baby change facilities), a large, well equipped kitchen complete with a good range of crockery,
glassware, cutlery and assorted pots, pans and ovenware – the kitchen is used on a weekly basis for Coffee
Pot (Tuesdays) and a Day Centre (Thursdays) – a hot, midday meal being supplied to those attending the
latter. The kitchen is also used extensively both by the church and outside hirers as required.
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Within the centre complex is a small but well equipped
office with a range of office equipment and a part time
Parish Administrator is employed. The centre is well used
by a variety of groups and organisations throughout the day
and during the evening most days of the week.
The church is fronted by a large car park accessible via
double gates. Generally the car park is in good repair and
has recently been marked out with 2 dedicated ’disabled’
bays and a number of other parking bays. A flat access point
(for wheelchair users) is also clearly defined and both the
church and the centre have wheelchair access (via small
ramps) throughout.
At the rear of the centre complex there is a concrete standing area giving access to a ’Marley’ style garage
(one of a block of 3) used for storage, a large storage area behind heavy duty, lockable gates and a boiler
house containing the gas fired boilers for both the church and the centre central heating systems.
Lastly the entire complex is surrounded by extensive grassed areas with assorted shrubbery and planted
trees – all maintained by a small team of dedicated, green-fingered volunteers.
At Saint Margaret’s the church building has been well looked after, and numerous improvements have
taken place, including a small sink in the tower base. We are now however faced with reroofing the
church, and grant applications are currently in hand. This will be a major project over the next year or so.
A detached toilet block has been built in recent years and has proved very useful. Given the attractive
rural character of the church, it is a popular venue for weddings and baptisms.
Finance
Each Parish runs its finances independently with separate published accounts and bank accounts. The St
George’s Church Centre is run as a Designated Fund within the St George’s financial statements.
Financial Position
St. George’s has achieved modest surpluses over recent years to transform a small deficit on the General
Fund into a cumulative surplus which stood at just over £4,000 at the end of 2014. The accounts will
show a small in-year deficit for 2014 but this is mainly the result of delayed receipt of Gift Aid
repayments.
During the last decade St. Margaret’s has struggled to balance the books each year, with little or no
surplus to speak of, but we do manage to donate 6% of all loose plate and Stewardship to five charities.
The increase in couples wanting to be married in our listed 13C church has been a welcome boost to our
funds.
Parish Share
Parish share commitments across the Benefice have been paid in full for many years. In recent years
additional contributions have been made to help cover the overall Deanery shortfall. The agreed Parish
share for St. George’s for 2015 is just over £24,000 and just over £9,500 for St Margaret’s. While the
budget for St Georges for 2015 is balanced with this level of contribution, the prediction at present for St
Margaret’s is a shortfall.
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Stewardship
A stewardship scheme has been in operation for many years. A recent drive has seen the conversion of
many regular givers to bankers order. Across the Benefice there are around 35 members using envelopes
with around 23 paying directly via their bank. Last year a small number at St George’s converted to the
Diocesan Giving Scheme, where Gift Aid is reclaimed monthly for us by the Diocese.
In both Parishes, the ongoing financial position is directly linked to a small number of significant regular
givers. The loss of just one of these contributors can have a serious impact, a risk increased with the
ageing congregations.
Fundraising
Both Parishes are supported by regular fundraising events, traditionally often with a gastronomical theme.
In recent years the number of events has fallen in line with the ageing population across the Benefice.
Welcome funds are also provided by events held with the prime aim of providing fellowship and
outreach.
At St Margaret’s, our roofer, who has been replacing nave roof tiles once or twice a year over the last
decade, last year warned that we had reached crunch time, and recommended the complete nave roof to be
replaced within the next two years at a cost of £130,000. Preliminary costs have been met by a generous
donation from a former member of St. Margaret’s, who left part of her residual estate to be spent on
something practical. Lottery Funding and other charities are being pursued for funding the project.
At St George’s, we have also been very fortunate in receiving a small number of sizeable bequests over
the last few years to help fund larger one-off items of expenditure. This is combined with the amazing
regular contribution to the Fabric Fund received from the proceeds of the weekly Coffee Pot, provided as
a bonus to its outreach and fellowship. The result of these income streams has been tangible, including
replacement carpet, the repair of flat roofs and replacement of inefficient windows, all enhancing the
overall condition of the fabric. At present there are no significant maintenance issues to be addressed at St
George’s, albeit we are not complacent.
In recent years significant sums have also been raised for specific projects. The most recent example was
the replacement of the chairs in St George’s. An earlier project involved major capital expenditure to
improve the Church Centre facilities.
In 2011, we took out a loan with the DBF to cover the installation of PV panels on the Church roof at St
Georges. The expectation was that the income from the electricity generated and exported would be
sufficient to pay off the loan within 25 years. With 3 full years of generation having been achieved, the
current expectation is that the loan will be paid off by the end of 2024, leaving a potential additional
income stream for the Parish after that date.
Saint Margaret’s Hopes and Concerns
What are our concerns and hopes as we seek the way ahead? Our congregation has declined quite sharply
over the past 10 years or so (after something of a boom during the 1990s). We would love to see our
traditional service pattern continue but we will need new and younger members if that is to be assured.
We would like to see our Family Praise service grow and become more frequent, but that will require
additional committed help in planning and leading the services.
Above all we want to feel that we are of value to the local community. We are happy to offer different
ways of worshipping if we can only find out what people want at the church. There is a lot of goodwill in
the wider community towards Saint Margaret’s. We want to find new ways of tapping into that, and thus
to bring people closer to God.
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Expenses
The Benefice pays standard Clergy expense claims for expenditure incurred including mileage, telephone
and incidental expenses. The claims are paid by St George’s with St Margaret’s contributing a third of the
overall cost.
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Areas identified for development

There is a clear need at both churches to reach out to areas of the benefice that appear to be
unchurched. The difficulty of mission in the Podsmead area has already been highlighted.

Development of family worship, and work with children and young people including the
uniformed groups, is a priority.

Prayer and study groups are areas that need further development.

A huge number of people and fringe groups use the social Centre, but are not, as yet, involved in
church life.

It would be good to do more with other churches in our area.

We have loyal congregations at both churches but there is a real need to build up the numbers at
both churches where a number of people have died or moved away.

Pastoral visiting is an area of strength, and it would benefit from better co-ordination.

Although the parishes have been united into a benefice for some years, special services are well
supported and each church plays to its strength. There is a joint Standing Committee and this is an
area for further development of joint working.
Who are we seeking?

An experienced individual to fulfil the role of a community priest with the resilience, energy and
enthusiasm to cope with the complexities of parish life.

A person of vision and personal spiritual depth, who is able to foster prayerfulness and spiritual
growth in the people.

A good leader, who is willing and able to let others lead when appropriate, and someone with the
necessary skills to be a training incumbent.

An open and accessible person with good communication skills and preaching ability.

A good team player genuinely at home with collaborative ministry and committed to enabling and
fostering lay ministries.

A caring person with a big pastoral heart and an active concern for issues of social justice.

Someone with a sense of mission to the wider parish, and committed to building up the church and
all-age congregations.

A person capable of building links within and without the parish including schools, the uniformed
groups, ecumenical links, children and young adults and the elderly.

Someone willing to embrace differing styles of worship and music within a broad central
churchmanship.

A person able to relate readily to different social groups, with a good listening ear, compassion…
and a good sense of humour.
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Appendices
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Congregational Surveys
Our congregational survey showed that
Congregation questions:
1)
3 words beginning with letter “E” (asked 22/2/15)
2)
What do you value most at St G’s/St M’?
3)
Where do you think God might be leading us over the next few years?
RESPONSES TO QUESTION 1:
ENERGETIC
ENTHUSIATIC
EMPATHETIC
EAGER
ENCOURAGING
ENTERTAINING
ENJOYABLE
EXCITING
EVANGELISTIC
EFFECTIVE
EUCHARISTIC
EFFERVESCENT
ENABLING
EASY GOING
EARNEST
8
7
7
6
4
4
4
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
EXEMPLARY
ENERGISING
EVERSMILING
EQUALITY
EVERLOVING
EMBRACING
EXCEPTIONAL
EXAMPLE
ENGAGING
EVERYTHING
EMOTIONALLY MATURE
EMPOWERING
EXPRESSIVE
EXISTENTIALIST
ENTERPRISING
EXTROVERT
RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS 2 & 3:
The Wonderful range of personalities and friendships of the congregation.
To help and encourage young people in the community.
Fellowship – people with such wide experience of life, all on their own pilgrimages.
I wish I knew! I think we must be ready to do his work differently and to let go of things.
Corporate worship.
Friendship & Fellowship.
The Reredos.
The friendship & community spirit.
To have a parish that’s welcoming to new people whoever they are.
The friendliness & feeling of being one of a church family.
To continue this (sentence above) and extend it to all, whether they are of some religion or none who
come to our door.
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Responses from the junior schools when asked about a New Vicar

How support from the church has helped you – and anything you’ve specially enjoyed
 Telling us about Jesus
 Lifting people up

Any ways you’d like to see links with the church further developed
 To continue with Messy Church
 To work with us in school on projects
 Holiday clubs

What kind of vicar you’d like to see!
 Kind
 Thoughtful
 Awesome
 Fantastic
 Spectacular
We have had some good ideas from Year 6 about the Church and the new vicar.

They said Experience Easter helped them to learn more about the festival.

Love Messy Church helps them with the stories and Easter experience.

Christingle taught them a lot. Enjoy how they get involved, lots of activities and enjoy the
teachings about the Bible.

They said that they didn’t enjoy having the Christmas Story every year and could they have it
different somehow because some of them have seen the same thing for 7 years.

Would like to hold assemblies at the Church, take turns to go. Smaller groups means better
focus.

Some like the services in school, especially at Easter and Christmas. Less Bible stories and not so
repetitive.

Visit church more.

Messy Church could it have separate groups for older and younger children.

Last Vicar made it exciting.

Kind, willing have a bit of fun. Answers questions. Doesn’t shout, calm, caring, likes children,
responsible, tall, nice, interesting and respectful.
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Individual Congregation Responses – these questions were posed:
i)
Areas identified for development
What isn’t working at all?
What isn’t working properly?
What is working but could work better?
And
Who are we seeking?
What skills and gifts should they have?
What life experiences should they bring to the role?
What do you think the church should look like in five years time?
What will we need to do to achieve this vision?
ii)
What isn’t working at all.

There is concern that Family Praise at Saint George’s isn’t working as intended. It needs to be
geared to families and without communion. Maybe it should be at a different time.

Saint George’s and Saint Margaret’s are two separate church communities that can, at times, be
fairly insular. Apart from the special services (e.g. Bereavement; Carol services) there is little
interplay between the two churches. This has been an issue for many years, each congregation
working to protect what they value; which is understandable, but it makes the joint benefice
cohesion problematical.
What isn’t working properly

Meet and greet / getting to know people, this works well at the door for arrivals but in the pews
some people are reticent and just sit back rather than saying hello to a new face.
What is working but could work better

Service sheets need to have some means of displaying parts the vicar reads, so people who
struggle to read or follow the service don’t lose their place. – extra sheets or OHP or perhaps a
fuller booklet for newbies.
 Befriending and visiting ill or housebound folk to make a cup of tea or just pop in for company.
Those people that are visiting, don’t see themselves as representing Saint George’s, they are just
seeing their friends, which is fine, but there is no co-ordination so that some people have multiple
visits, and some people miss out. Potential isolation and loneliness are serious issues that need to
be addressed in an ageing society.
What skills and gifts should the new priest have

To want to be a visible part of the community – reach out to schools, continue with "Open the
Book" and the "Experience" series. Be empathetic and have an open door.
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What life experiences should they bring to the role

Nurture, caring, lived a life before being a priest. Preferably have a family so they understand
everyday problems.
What do you think/hope the church should look like in five years time?

Thriving with new people including young families – we can dream :-).
I hope it’s still here.

I would like to see a vibrant thriving church in 5 years’ time full of families, adults and young
people.
What will we need to do to achieve this vision?

Reach out and be more available to the community.

Let the church not be a mystery

Reinstate Dragon Club so we can bring in children on an extended time to build on Messy Church

I think we will need to employ someone who genuinely cares about our churches and
congregations, someone who is rooted in prayer. Someone who has enthusiasm and stamina,
someone who is in for the long haul.
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Summary of 2011 Census information on population and households
Whaddon
St Margaret’s parish is a tiny hamlet of 100 people in 40 households; too small for further census analysis
of population characteristics to be of value.
Tuffley
The St George’s parish population of approaching 10,000 includes 600 children of pre-school age (0-4
years), 1,200 school age children (5-15) and 1,900 people aged 65 and over.
Of the 4,000 households, 30% are single people, 49% married, 3% are separated, 10% divorced and 8%
widowed.
Overall, over 2,000 adults are living alone; these include 600 aged 65 and over.
Of the 1,100 households with dependent children, around half (52%) are married families, 20% are
cohabiting families, and 28% are lone parent families.
Over half (55%) the households live in semi-detached houses, 21% in terraced houses and 7% in detached
houses; one in seven (14%) are in flats.
The large majority of the population (94%) are white, and born in the UK (94%); almost everyone (98%)
has English as their main language.
In terms of health and wellbeing, most people say they are healthy and well. However, 1,800 (19%) say
they are limited in their daily activities, and 600 (6%) say they are in bad or very bad health.
One in seven adults (14%) are qualified to level 4 or above; approaching a third (29%) have no
qualifications.
The largest groups of residents at work are in the wholesale, retail or motor vehicle repair trades (21%),
manufacturing (12%) or construction (8%); 6% are full-time students. One in three (31%) work part-time.
One adult in 20 (5% - 320 people) have never worked and are long-term unemployed.
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AGE PROFILE FOR TUFFLEY
Age
0-4
5-9
18-24
25-44
65-74
75-84
85+
0%
20%
0%
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Total Percentage
10-17
45-64
0-4
580
6%
5-9
540
6%
10 - 17
930
10%
18 - 24
760
8%
25 – 44
2430
25%
45 - 64
2430
25%
65 - 74
1100
11%
75 – 84
640
7%
85 +
200
2%
25%
Household make-up
20%
15%
10%
5%
Whaddon: St Margaret
Gloucester: St George
120%
Household types
100%
80%
60%
40%
Whaddon: St Margaret
Gloucester: St George
Photo Gallery
Te Deum Window
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Nativity Window
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Softley Lounge
Main Hall
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Small Hall
Parish Office
Saint Margaret’s
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Messy Church
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Below are some Altar Frontals Made by Messy Church
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