The Guildford church is approaching the halfway point in an ambitious year-long programme inspired by the Olympic Games made up of five mission rings of; hospitality (invite someone), servanthood (help serve), community (come together), Jesus (say his name) and celebration (join in) which will take them up until the start of the London 2012 Games.
Vicar Kirsten Rosslyn-Smith explains: “The inspired idea was from an artist, teacher and worshiper at St Peter’s.
“The Olympics presented the perfect opportunity to be ‘Sharing Christ’s love in this community’. The mission rings born out of that have given us the opportunity to work individually, in groups and as a church with others in the community.
“Each of the five mission rings has a definite time period during which time the congregation is asked to take on a challenge in its name. Therefore, during the first ring, hospitality, which ran up until Christmas, we saw people inviting others for tea or to a harvest service or carol service.
“It was all about extending an invitation - although not all of the invitations were accepted members have said it will spur them on to keep on inviting.
“One of our congregation was chatting at the bus stop to someone who had recently moved here and was lonely. He invited her to church and she came and felt very welcome - it only took an invitation.
“Up until Easter we are in the season of servanthood and we are hoping to serve our schools by planning an Easter encounter for classes in our local primary school with St John’s Stoke, and supporting the 24/7 prayer room that will be at Christ’s college the same week, as well as smaller more personal acts of service and kindness.
“The wonderful thing is that people of all ages can get involved – younger ones might wash a car, a teenager might babysit. We older ones might cook a freezer meal for someone or simply pay someone a visit.”
Following the mission rings of community and Jesus the year will culminate in a celebratory ‘Games on the Green’ and Olympic-themed holiday club.
Kirsten says: “Instead of our annual fun day in June we are pitching in with Bellfield’s’ and Weyfield’s own Olympic event on the Green in July.
“We are helping organise it with a whole number of other organisations and local churches, so that it happens in, with, and for, our local community.
“We may be tired by the end of some of the year but I am sure we will be exhilarated too –I hope this will spur us on, perhaps like Olympic athletes in training, so we can keep on going and keep running the race which is faith and life.”