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PCC and the social outing

Posted by Lucy Moore on 26 Jul 2007

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Two things to talk about today: the first is the PCC meeting last week where I did a catchy-uppy report on Messy Church to fill everyone in. One member saw me sit down and muttered, 'Oh this won't take long, I expect you just want more money.'

So it was with a perfectly straight face and many finger-lickin' points awarded internally that I said we were fine for wonga and just need more involvement and prayer please. They seemed very cheered: possibly because of the lack of financial demands, but, I like to think, more because MC is a tangible outreach project and is quite exciting.

The same person who had muttered also said suspiciously after I'd explained what we were after, 'So... you don't want people to do things with (in tones of one finding a small and repulsive life form in her salad)... children. We could just come and talk to adults?' Yup. Please.

Second thing: Messy Church outing today. Humph. Let's build relationships, we said. Let's do something fun and easy for the whole family we said. Let's meet up and take the kids somewhere nice that will break up the holidays and give us some adult company we said. Let us bond! Let us be as one with our fellows (well, we didn't say that exactly, but the thought was there).

2pm in the church car park with the rain just beginning to fall, and lo - none of the MC families turned up. Jan came, bravely alone when none of her singles group felt the urge to come with her, and Lesley with her two children she minds, and Denise and her daughter (18), plus Catherine with her three boys, and me and Judith... all 'Sunday church' families. And no one else. When we got to the park, the rain started doing a fair impression of an incontinent cow.

We had a jolly time as only Brits under siege can. I was soaked to the bones by the time we got home, and not in the mood to be told by Paul (vicar and husband) that how could we expect anyone else to turn up unless we'd spent every evening of the previous week ringing round everyone we wanted to come? 'Nobody comes to anything unless you write the notice on a brick and throw it through their front window,' he said blithely. Hmmph. Mega-hmmph.

But is this what we have to do to get people there? Treat them the same way as we do the teenagers when we arrange a trip for them? Send a note home, then email, then ring, then ring an hour before they're due to leave home, then text them at the very last minute, assuming all the time that they've forgotten but do want to come? How does anyone have anything like the time to do this? And if it takes so much effort to get them there, a) do they really want to come and b) is it worth it?

Am reading The Future of the Parish System by Steve Croft and co. (Paul says with his customary gloom that this must be a very short book.) I will have to distil my thoughts thereon later. At the moment it makes me alternately elated and swamped in pessimism.