Get to know the Llandaff Centre of Mission
Of course, 2020 was a year in which many of us had to adapt our ways of working and relating to Church. Captain Andy Settle, Lead Pioneer of the Llandaff Centre of Mission, joins us to tell us how the Centre fulfilled its outreach and their ambitious plans going forward:
2020 turned out to be a year like no other.
January saw the arrival for the Diocese of their ‘Year of Pilgrimage’. At the same time and as part of the ‘Year of Pilgrimage’, the Centre of Mission introduced ‘Pilgrim Hymns’ on its Facebook page as individuals from across the Diocese selected their favourite Hymns/Christian songs that had encouraged them on their pilgrimage or Faith Journey.
2020 also heralded the five-year anniversary of the establishing of the Centre of Mission across the Deanery of Neath.
We were looking forward to 2020 and celebrating the achievements of those previous five years. All the Messy Churches, the setting up of the projects like, ‘Connected’ and ‘the Lounge’ not to mention the hundreds of assemblies carried out across the Deanery in its numerous Primary Schools.
So much had been achieved. By the end of 2019 the Diocese had secured funding from the Mission and Evangelism Fund made available from the Church in Wales to fulfil its new Vision ‘Faith Matters’. This included the funding to extend the Centre of Mission for a further five years to 2025. All of this coincided with the implementation of ‘Ministry Areas’. The Diocese moved from Deaneries to the establishment of 29 ministry areas across the Diocese.
Now, because of the funding sourced by the Diocese and the arrival of Ministry Areas, 50% of our work will be focussed on 'Young Faith Matters' and the other 50% on 'Faith Matters' to fit in with the new vision of the Diocese, across the Diocese.
In practice this means that we will be working as a team of advisers or supporters within the Diocese, namely Engagement Workers and Mission Enablers advising and enabling the 29 Ministry areas to engage with the Diocesan vision and reach out with the Gospel across their respective communities.
None of this comes as any surprise to us as our original brief was to model projects in the deanery and then duplicate them where possible across the Diocese and it is fair to say we did make efforts to do this in the last five years by visiting a number of different parts of the Diocese.
This added momentum of the additional funding has provided an impetus and an additional focus on our work thus far. Indeed, much of our work with Youth and Children is at the centre of the 'Young Faith Matters' and part of the reason the funds were awarded to the Diocese.
Instead of Celebration, 2020 saw the arrival of the Covid-19 virus, which was to radically change our approach to Church, Community and the Preaching of the Gospel.
We were to be introduced to the concept of ‘lockdown’. We began to understand ‘shielding’ and saw many effected by isolation and loneliness as everything that we understood as normal had to stop.
It is far to say that at the beginning of the lockdown we all moved in to maintenance mode just keeping things together as best we could. This in practice has meant embracing the Internet and social media like never before. As well as holding Zoom and Team meeting and services live on Facebook.
Some found all of this alien, and so the old fashion landline came into its own as we made many calls to lonely and isolated individuals offering help, encouragement and above all hope.
By the end of 2020 we see our prayers being answered that hope is coming in the form of a vaccine and as we enter 2021 its rollout is well underway.
So we are excited at the prospects of returning to some sense of normality or should I say, what may well become a new normal.
What is clear is we still have a job to do, to bring the Gospel to our communities, to transform lives. With that in mind, we look forward to visiting you all in the 29 Ministry areas as we work together to fulfil our vision because we believe that Faith Matters and we want to see this reflected in each generation. We pray we can learn valuable lessons from 2020 and as we move into 2021 and put them into practice.