Adapted from the Church in Wales
A short online film highlights changes in churches across Wales, from ministry areas to community cafés.
The 2020 Vision film highlights stories from each of the six dioceses in Wales that show how they are responding to the church’s strategy for growth.
Dioceses chose the stories, which show the ways they are trying to make the Church more outward- and community-facing. Some stories are about major structural projects that have long-term objectives, such as the move from parishes to ministry areas. Others show projects that churches are running in the local community that have a significant effect, such as a café. While the film is not a comprehensive guide to all the work in the Church, it gives an impression of changes in culture.
Stories featured include “ministry area conversations” in Neath; a leadership course in Newport; ministry at the Gower Show; a community café in Sandycroft, Flintshire; a children’s club in Llangaffo, Anglesey; and church work in Carmarthen.
The film was shown to members of the Church’s Governing Body in September and was introduced by Helen Biggin, chairwoman of the 2020 Vision Implementation Group.
“One of the powerful messages of the film — encapsulated in the parable of the sower which runs through it — is that we have been entrusted with an amazing gift by God which we have a duty to find new ways to share,” she said. “Some of what we try to do may not be successful, but we must take that risk so that we have a chance of achieving great rewards.”
The 2020 Vision strategy came out of a wide-scale review of the Church in Wales in 2012. Its aim is to help the Church grow and better serve the needs of Wales as it approaches its centenary in 2020.
“The review has inspired and helped support some truly visionary work across the Church, the results of which will only be seen in years to come,” Biggin said. “However, the activity which supports these projects is already helping to reinvigorate church life. As demonstrated in the film, we are thinking seriously about how we might engage more effectively with the communities we seek to serve and are putting time, money, and other resources into achieving the vision of the Church becoming truly the ‘prayerful heart of the community.’”