On Holy Saturday, the small congregation of Caversham Park Church, based on a large housing development on the edge of Reading, were taking part in a prayer walk around their community and distributing Easter gifts.
Just one example of the increased confidence they have found through participating in PMC.
Church member Christine Viney says their church is now more a like a river – flowing out into the community.
“I enjoyed doing the questionnaire [an early part of the PMC process] – talking to people and getting a bit under the skin of what was happening in the village. People said there was no centre – they were feeling lonely.”
In response, the members of Caversham Park started a coffee morning based at a local social club and a monthly bring-a-friend lunch at a local cafe. Not rocket science but crucially out in the community, not in a church building (in fact, they don’t have one!). Along with the Easter (and Christmas) prayer walks, these are another sign of confidence, wanting to be visible Christians in the community, says the vicar, Derek Chandler.
PMC has also, says Derek, had for the congregation “a profound effect in terms of discipleship and God being a real presence that’s around every day of the week, not just someone you visit on Sunday.”
That said, the Sunday service has seen some PMC innovation with the spiritual practices of Dwelling in the Word (which now begins every service) and Announcing the Kingdom becoming firmly embedded.
“We have some tealights in the form of a cross at the front of the church,” explains Christine, “and people come and say how they’ve seen God working during the week and just light a candle in thanks and praise to God.
“That’s what’s helped me personally, the way of seeing God in everything.”