ST MARY'S | REIGATE
SEEING GOD CHANGE LIVES, FAMILIES AND CHURCHES
SEEING GOD CHANGE LIVES,
FAMILIES AND CHURCHES
A GROWING VISION
Charismatic and evangelical in tradition St Mary’s is an Anglican Church with a clear focus on helping people become fully devoted whole-life disciples of Jesus Christ.
As we seek to grow and develop our role as a resourcing church, we are entering a new chapter in our life together and we are looking for new senior leaders as we seek to reach out to a world in need, form people into a new identity in Christ, develop a strong culture of discipleship, love one another as family and give ourselves away for the sake of others
Our vision is to see God change lives, families, and churches and our mission to make disciples and to be a growing community of people who worship God with our whole lives.
Much has been accomplished over the last decade in readiness for a new season of outreach and growth, as we have significantly developed and reordered our buildings, strengthened our administrative systems, and discerned a clear vision.
It is exciting to see how this vision for growth, based on making disciples, resourcing and planting churches, and developing our work with families, is taking root. Sensing God’s calling on us into a new phase of mission and life, and invited by the Diocese to see ourselves as a resourcing hub, our prayer is that over the next decade hundreds of people of all ages hear and respond to the good news of Jesus and his kingdom, become part of God’s transforming work in Reigate and further afield, and that we will see both God grow his church here in Reigate and see our impact increase.
There was a beautiful simplicity to Jesus’ mission that we are keen to imitate. From the gospel accounts we can see that the way he made disciples always started with the announcement that Kingdom of God was at hand and giving people a taste of its reality. This was supported by numerous acts of healing, love, deliverance, and forgiveness, all of which acted as signs, making an impression that pointed to his messiahship and attracted people to find out more. As people drew closer and as messiah he routinely invited them into allegiance to him – repentance, active trust and faith – and initiated them, through baptism, into a new journey of discipleship under his tutoring. Immersed into community and into the fullness of the Spirit Jesus’ disciples grew into maturity and they were drawn into his mission through instruction and imitation. This was Jesus’ discipleship pathway.
A NEXT CHAPTER
To fulfil this calling, we know that we need to continue to encourage and enrich the community life of the church, to develop our approach to spiritual formation and family discipleship, and to increase our leadership capacity at every level of church life.
To this end, in 2023, we have been seeking to appoint a number of key leaders:
- A senior leader to oversee our community life, deepen our belonging as family, carry responsibility for pastoral care, grow our life groups as communities of hospitality as well as spiritual formation, and to maintain our spiritual and emotional health both as individuals and as a community. (Ben Forbes)
- A full-time Senior Youth Minister to extend and support the existing Children and Youth Team as we seek to help young people live with God at the centre of their lives and support parents in the discipleship of their children (Emily Irving)
and now, as Nigel Griffiths takes up a new role in neighbouring Merstham,
A leader to provide senior leadership, develop our leadership pipeline, and to oversee the discipleship pathway with particular oversight of family discipleship
KEEPING THE MAIN THING THE MAIN THING
St Mary’s is keen to reproduce the things that matter most to us:
- The gospel of, and about, King Jesus calling people into salvation, allegiance, and the obedience of faith
- A clear discipleship pathway for all to engage in
- An experience of and a dependence on the Spirit
- A confidence in the Word as living and transforming
- A vision for family discipleship with parents at the centre, supported by excellent youth and children’s work on Sundays and midweek
- An asset-based and relational approach to responding to need that leads to transformation
- A generous Orthodox Charismatic Evangelical theology
OUR CHURCH FAMILY
St Mary’s is a church full of people and life. There are 544 individuals currently on the electoral roll, with an average weekly Sunday attendance of 400, including 100+ children and young people, across the four services at St Mary’s and the Heath Church. Our weekly bulletin is emailed to over 1200 individuals.
While the impact of the pandemic is still being felt it so encouraging to see new people coming to faith, joining us, and becoming involved. Over the last few years several hundreds of people have been on an Alpha course, either online or in person, and we look forward to running the course again in January.
Alongside those mature in faith, it is exciting that St Mary’s attracts a significant fringe often made up of those who are relatively new to church or those with no faith. This is something we want to make the most of. Families make up a signiﬁcant proportion of our congregation, driven in part by competition for places at the outstanding local church schools – something which brings opportunities as well as challenges.
Young people and children are central to our community life, and good numbers come to our services, Sunday groups and weekday activities. Over 400 attend our weekly groups throughout the school year. 40 are heading to the summer Satellites Festival last year. We are looking to restart our popular Holiday Club in 2024 which engaged over 200 children and involved 100 helpers pre-pandemic. We also have a thriving Girls’ Brigade with 70 members aged 5 to 16.
As part of our focus on discipleship and seeking to further develop our youth and children’s ministry we are convinced of the need to place parents and the family unit at the centre of our approach.
Being a larger church of all ages, the pastoral needs of our family are wide ranging and complex. As we seek to be a community of care and love we work hard at drawing everyone into an experience of family through small groups, joyful church-wide events and social occasions, and a strong pastoral ministry supporting individuals and families as they travel through life stages and challenge.
In addition to our essential monthly prayer evening, there are currently 24 Life Groups which meet in the week, and we also have ministries speciﬁcally targeted at men and women, young and old. We are keen to expand these further.
Believing that being a disciple is for the whole of life, we are determined to raise up leaders within the Church community and in every sphere of life. It is joyful that in recent years a number of our family have been accepted for ministry in the Church of England, as ordinands and as lay pioneers.
Our relationships with the Diocese and Deanery are strong and it is exciting to have been invited to partner another local parish through a church plant and pioneering work over the next few years.
St Mary’s hosts three services every Sunday alongside others in the week
- At 8.30am we hold a traditional communion service in the chancel. This service is attended by 50 – 60 people
- Our 10.30am service is a relaxed, family-friendly service attended by 300+ people of all ages and with a thriving Children and Young People’s ministry
- The ﬁnal service at 6:30pm is informal and more charismatic, with a focus worship, teaching, and ministry, with 60-80 people
- Tots Praise is a joyful service for parents and toddlers on Monday mornings that 20-30 attend
- A midweek communion is on Wednesdays at 11am followed by lunch
The Heath Church has a service at 10.30am each Sunday morning which is a relaxed, traditional, and mostly lay led congregation of around 40 each week
MAKING A DIFFERENCE LOCALLY
St Mary’s has always had a vision to be a blessing to our local community and we are committed to developing an asset-based approach to social need as we seek to make an impression. We run numerous groups and activities at the church centre throughout the week such as a carer support group, bereavement support, a dementia café, a thriving parent and toddler café, and host many other community groups that hire our space. We support the local foodbanks and debt advice centre and a many volunteer with local charities such as the Samaritans, Stripey Stork, Renewed Hope, Loveworks, and the Victoria Alms Houses.
In the last year we have been very involved in supporting families from Ukraine and have set up a hosting support service for over 30 host families and over 60 Ukrainians.
We have excellent relationships with the neighbouring Parish School where 50% of school places are reserved for children attending church and a majority of places on the Board of Governors are reserved for PCC appointments. St Mary’s also has strong relationships with the neighbouring Preparatory School and Grammar School, and with St Bede’s, a large local ecumenical Christian Secondary School where many of our children attend. Ali Foulkes, an ex-staff member, has just been appointed as the Anglican Chaplain at St Bede’s and Rev Phil Jackson, also an ex-staff member, is the chaplain at the Grammar.
We also support local schools through our engagement with SparkFish, a local Christian schools-work charity, working across Reigate, Redhill and Merstham, in around 20 primary and secondary schools. SparkFish aims to support children and young people during the school day through engaging children in RE, giving students the opportunity to explore prayer and reﬂection for themselves, and by caring for children’s emotional well-being through group work as well as one-to-one mentoring.
PARTNERING GLOBAL MISSION
With a vision to see God changing lives, families, and churches, we support mission around the world that creates disciples and brings kingdom transformation, where individuals, families and communities are changed and empowered. Our present partners are:
- Janet and Pascal – bible translation and mission leadership in Senegal
- IJM – bringing freedom for those trapped in slavery
- Alison and Paul – mission mobilisation and training in Burundi
- Tearfund – church and community transformation in Rwanda
- Open Doors – supporting the persecuted church
OUR LOCALITY AND SITUATION
Reigate is situated to the south of London, just outside the M25 on the southern side of the North Downs. The parish of St Mary’s has a population of around 7,000 and covers most areas of Reigate to the south of the railway line, including the town centre. The population of the whole town is 22,000. St Mary’s is located just on the edge of the town centre and the Heath Church is the other side of park on the heath.
The town is a popular and attractive place to live with a vibrant high street, good train links into London and surrounded by beautiful countryside. It takes 15 minutes to drive to Gatwick, and 1 hour to Brighton. The centrally located Priory Park is attractive and hosts a number of community events throughout the year, and there is plenty of open space for walking and cycling.
Beneath the relative comfort of a suburban market town, however, there are all the challenges associated with 21st century living and prosperity: ﬁnancial pressure and stress, marital breakdown, and the problems of lives lived in a state of constant comparison.
There are plenty of schools in the Reigate area, both independent and state-funded. Within the immediate vicinity of St Mary’s Church is the voluntary-aided Reigate Parish Church Primary School. Adjacent to the church grounds are Reigate Grammar School and Reigate St Mary’s Preparatory and Choir School, both of which are independent.
Reigate Priory Junior School is situated in the local park, Holmesdale Community Infant School is nearby, and St Bede’s School in Redhill, is a unique, voluntary aided, fully ecumenical Christian secondary school with whom we have strong links.
Over the last decade the church family has invested much time, energy and ﬁnance into developing and improving the church and church centre. A very successful Community Building Project included the reordering of St Mary’s Church and the building of a wonderful new Church Centre across the road with offices, a chapel, community meeting rooms and a large meeting space. This is open throughout the year and is a major new community asset.
In addition to St Mary’s Parish Church and Church Centre, we have two other church buildings within the parish – the Heath Church and The Mill Church. We also own three properties within the parish for housing clergy and staff; and we have part ownership of a house, with the Diocese
OUR OBJECTIVES FOR 22022/3
Each year, at our Annual Meeting, we look ahead and set a course for the year ahead and our hopes for this year were as follows:
Reaching out to a world in need:
- Embed and implement a new strategy for social engagement in our community
- Grow confident disciples able to share their faith by preaching and teaching on mission
Drawing people into a new identity in Christ:
- Welcome and induct new members into church life following Alpha
- Further develop our ‘newcomer’s flow’
Developing a culture of discipleship:
- Teach on Genesis 1-3 as a way of engaging with issues of identity, meaning, purpose, sexuality, failure and redemption
- Develop our monthly prayer meetings and encourage participation in our annual 24/7 prayer week in the lead up to Easter
- Strengthen our small groups – increasing leadership, engagement, transformation, and participation
- Encourage families and individuals to participate in summer festivals of New Wine and Satellites
- Appoint a new Head of Leadership and Discipleship, Youth Minister, and Children’s Minister
Loving one another as family:
- Appoint a Head of Community life to help us deepen belonging, develop pastoral care, energise and support small groups, and enable us to grow as an emotionally healthy church
- Build on the success of last year’s Christmas Event with a summer fun-day and another Christmas Event in November 2023
- Celebrate all those who serve with a party
Giving ourselves away for the sake of others:
- Gather and send out a group of people from within the church as part of a ‘church planting team’ under Nigel’s leadership.
- Further embed and develop our partnerships with others in mission overseas and strengthen our communication and engagement within the church family
- Develop our relationships with other Churches and networks as we seek to grow resilient disciples in our secular age
St Mary’s is blessed with a dedicated and able staff team who work together to lead and coordinate us in worship, discipleship, mission, and pastoral care:
- Richard Wilson has been in post since July 2018 having moved from Twerton, an estate on the edge of Bath where he was also Area Dean.
- Ben Forbes joined our team in July 23 as Head of Community Life
- Kate Capper. Having been employed part-time since 2015 and who has been overseeing our pastoral care, is moving into Self Supporting Ministry and will be responsible for developing spiritual direction and bereavement support.
- Nigel Griffiths was appointed as Associate Vicar for Discipleship and Leadership Development in 2019 and is looking to lead a church graft in autumn 2023
- Josh Brown is our full time Head of Worship Culture responsible for worship, music, and our tech teams.
- Emily Irving is soon to be our new Youth Minister, taking over from Martin Saunders. She will be responsible for leading our Youth (school years 7-13)
- Mandy Childs is our part-time Associate Minister responsible for children in school years 1-6.
- Up to the end of July 23 Gen Griffiths has been responsible for our ministry to our preschool and reception children. This post is currently vacant.
Honorary Assistant Clergy
- We have two further ordained Ministers who lead and preach and are involved in various other ways in the life of the church. Danielle Robinson is a retired Hospital Chaplain with PTO, while Mike Fox is a retired Vicar living locally, also with PTO.
- Brenda Juntunen is our licensed Reader
Operations and Administrative Team
- Catherine Farrow is our Operations Team Leader supported by a wonderful team. Amanda Adams is our Bookings Manager and Church Administrator, Louise Zandi is a Church Administrator and Vineeta Chiles is an Administrative Assistant. Laura Juden-Wills is our Finance Assistant. The team is further supported by a large number of committed volunteers including our Treasurer, and a small finance team.