In 1998 the meeting of the Archbishops and bishops of the Church of England at the Lambeth Conference defined that 'Mission goes out from God. Mission is God's way of loving and saving the world...”
Christians follow Jesus in a mission that seeks to make God’s Name and love known. Christians are called to serve God's mission by living and proclaiming the good news through lives that are generous, compassionate, inclusive, prayerful, forgiving, tolerant and serving.
“It’s not the church of God that has a mission, but the God of mission who has a church”.
For Anglican Christians God’s mission is about transformation – transforming individual lives, transforming communities and transforming the world. As we follow Jesus Christ, we believe that God’s mission is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit in three ways: through the Bible, through the tradition and life of the Church, and through our own listening, praying, thinking and sharing as we respond to our own context- opportunities to witness to and to serve God in our work places, communities, relationships etc.
In 1984 the Anglican Consultative Council began to develop a “mission statement” for the worldwide Anglican communion, and the bishops of the Lambeth Conference adopted these “Five Marks Of Mission” in 1988. They were then adopted by the General Synod of the Church of England in 1996.
The Five Marks of Mission are:
To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God
To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
To respond to human need by loving service
To seek to transform unjust structures of society
To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth
The Anglican Consultative Council notes:
“The first mark of mission… is really a summary of what all mission is about, because it is based on Jesus' own summary of his mission (St. Matthew 4 v17, Mark 1 vv14-15, Luke 4v18, Luke 7v22).
Instead of being just one of five distinct activities, this should be the key statement about everything we do in mission.”
Holy Trinity, Ashford in the Water as a Mission-shaped church
In 2004 the General Synod of the Church of England commended the report “Mission-shaped church” to the whole of the Church of England. Building on the five marks of mission, this report speaks of five values for a missionary church:
A missionary church is focused on God the Trinity
Worship lies at the heart of a missionary church, and to love and know God as Father, Son and Spirit is its chief inspiration and primary purpose.
A missionary church is incarnational
It seeks to shape itself in relation to the parish culture and way of life in which it is located or to which it is called to minister within and witness to.
A missionary church is transformational
It exists for the transformation of the community that it serves, through the power of the Gospel and the Holy Spirit.
A missionary church makes disciples
It is active in calling people to faith in Jesus Christ…it is concerned for the transformation of individuals, as well as for the transformation of communities.
A missionary church is relational
It is characterized by welcome and hospitality. Its ethos and style are open to change when new members join.
Everybody associated with Holy Trinity is commited to share the Christian faith, recognising that “the Church is called upon to proclaim the faith afresh in each generation”.
All Christians are called to share in the work (the mission) of God and to help that work, each person is given gifts of God’s Spirit to discover, and with encouragement (and training), to use. There are no passengers, but only crew (disciples).
The Diocese of Derby are initiating Mission Action Plans, where each church will be invited to evaluate existing links with the community and to formulate over a three year period a strategy for growth and development of outreach and connection.
God’s mission is central to Christian faith. God sent Jesus to reconcile humanity to God and to one another. God sends Christians to the rest of the world to share in life and word God’s message of reconciliation. In the Diocese of Derby mission activities and events are supported within and beyond the local Parish and Mission & Ministry Area.
An aim of Holy Trinity, Ashford in the Water is to encourage all regular worshippers to take an active part in their membership of, and partnership with, the world-wide church, both as individuals and as a Church, in fulfilling our Lord’s command ‘to make disciples of all nations.’
The Anglican Church has links with several World Mission Agencies including USPG (United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel), CMS (Christian Missionary Society), SAMS (South American Missionary Society). Derby Diocese has for some years now had a link with the Church of North India which continues to prosper.
Not only do such agencies seek to grow God’s Church, but they seek to enable people to grow spiritually, to thrive physically and to have a voice and self determination in an unjust world.
USPG, for instance, encourages parishes in Britain and Ireland to participate in mission through fundraising and prayer, and by setting up links with their mission projects around the world.
Holy Trinity Church raises more funds for Sierra Leone
The Reverend Tony Kaunhoven recently handed over a cheque for £1,181 to Kate French, Chair of Village Aid, representing a further contribution to the Sally Koroma Orphanage in Sierra Leone. Holy Trinity Church, Ashford in the Water, has committed to raising £2000 per year over a three year period.
This latest contribution was raised from the Church’s recent flower festival and further fundraising events are planned for later in the year.
Over the last 18 months the Church has raised over £3000 to help change the lives of these children who lost their parents in the ten year civil war that ended in 2002.
Their support is provided in collaboration with the Bakewell based charity Village Aid and helps support Sally Koroma and her Life for Relief orphanage and school in Mile 91 (appropriately named as 91 miles north of the capital, Freetown).
This area was a centre for rebel activity during the war, many people were displaced and thousands of children lost their parents. When Sally Koroma returned to Mile 91 she was surrounded by orphans and widows who had returned to find their families.
Sally opened her home to a few children, feeding them from her own gardens, and the generosity of neighbours. The numbers kept growing and six years on, she has turned her modest home into Sally Koroma’s “Life for Relief Orphanage” and is responsible for the school fees and feeding of 250 children.
The funds raised by Holy Trinity Church pay for the school fees, books and uniforms for the majority of the children. The church has committed to cover these costs for 3 years. Over this period Sally is developing 13 acres of farmland near the orphanage that will supply both food for the children and also allow an income to be developed to pay for the school fees and costs on an ongoing basis.