Trinity with Palm Grove United Reformed & Methodist Church previous next Home Worship More about TPG T. Minister's Message Work with Children Church Activities Services & Preachers  May-August Other Notices "Choir4Life" Mission Who We Are Friends Remembered Contact Us Need a Venue? Click Here Photo Gallery Updated on 23rd May Trinity with Palm Grove United Reformed and Methodist Church                    Alton Road, Oxton, Birkehead.  CH43 1UZ
A LETTER FROM OUR TRANSITIONAL MINISTER Dear all, One of the great benefits that a Transitional Minister can offer to a church is that we bring a degree of objectivity. Because we are involved only for a short time, we do not become enmeshed in the way a traditional pastoral minister does. Some churches will take notice of a TM’s observations, whilst others do not! I was not involved in the planning or the facilitating of the Easter events which involved local schools – Cross Factor and Easter in the Car Park. I had no idea what to expect on either occasion. And I want to tell you I was genuinely impressed both by the number of volunteers and the enthusiasm of all those involved. In an age when so many people are ignorant of the Christian story, it really is something to be grateful for that the members of TPG at Cross Factor were able to present the Easter Story to so many children and that the local schools embraced the occasion. The head mistress from Birkenhead Girls School rang to tell me that the girls had come back from the church buzzing, which is a testimony to the effectiveness of the way the story was told. I was also really impressed by Easter in the Carpark, which I thought was great fun and was clearly enjoyed by both the children and their parents. At both these events I was impressed by the number of people from the church who were involved and the fact that you all looked like you were enjoying yourselves. We are all very aware that there are not the numbers of families, young people or children in the church, that there were two generations ago. And most congregations have no idea where to start to attract children and their parents into church. TPG is in a situation where there is hope. You have contact with a large number of children, who are happy to attend occasions, not just when the school is bringing them for an event but of their own free will. The challenge for the church is how to create bridges and turn those occasional visits into regular attendances. No one should pretend that is easy. If there was a magic formula dozens of churches would be employing it. But there is a basis for hope. What will be needed in the coming months and years is some imaginative and strategic thinking. It was for this reason that you appointed Paul to be your church/community worker. It is no small challenge facing you. But, you embark on this project with good grounds for hope, because you have the contacts with so many children and families. At least you know where to make a start. You will need to be strategic in your approach. And you will have to accept that there will be some changes – and that is something which churches are not good at. We all need to take on board the perceptive remark attributed to Albert Einstein, that the height of insanity is doing the same thing  over and over again, and expecting different results. If we want to see a different outcome, we have to be ready for change. There is no other way.   I have no idea what Paul has in mind. But I hope and pray that when, after a period of observing what is happening in the church, he comes forward with some suggestions of how you might do things differently, you will be ready to listen and be objective in your response. Remember, to carry on doing what you are doing now and expecting different results, is the height of insanity! I once heard Bishop John Robinson, who wrote ‘Honest to God,’ if he was optimistic about the future of the church. He said that optimism was not a word that appeared in the Christian vocabulary. Only faith and hope. I believe that TPG has grounds for hope about the work you do with children. It is from that hope, that we find our energy and enthusiasm. I pray that God will continue to nourish your commitment to working with children, and that He will bless you with imagination and open up new ways of engaging with them that are fun and relevant, and that He will bless you with a response to your labours. Never lose sight of this truth: the reason for our efforts is not so that TPG will survive and flourish, but so that young lives will come to know and experience the love of God and find the life He wants for them – life in all its fullness.                                                     God bless you all in His service.                                                                       Gwynfor
T. Minister's Message