Holy Trinity Church

Anglican worship in Geneva

Vision & Strategy Report

Outline of Report on Vision & Strategy consultation for Council & Congregation including main themes from survey

  1. Introduction

The Coordination Group has been tasked by Parish Council to arrange and manage the Vision and Strategy consultation process with the Congregation, church partners and stakeholders.  The primary objective of the Coordination Group is to provide feedback and recommendations to help Council and the Congregation develop a future Vision for the parish and identify possible strategic priorities for HTC over the next three years.

As a first step in the consultation process, the Group launched a parish-wide survey on April 1 to gain information from the Congregation on areas of strength at HTC and potential areas for growth. The survey was available electronically through Google Forms as well as in hard copy at the back of the church. The survey closed on May 2, 2022.

Overall, 55 individuals completed the survey with a good representation in terms of services attended and involvement in different groups in the parish such as choir, readers and intercessors and welcomers/sidespersons.

The group is now consulting with groups not captured by the survey such as junior church and the young adults.

  • Main Finding of Survey & Consultation

In reviewing the survey responses and feedback from the consultations so far, the Group has identified consistent themes. We have grouped the feedback into three main themes with sub-headings and shared below a summary of the feedback we have received so far.

2.1 Worship

  • Our Anglican Liturgy and Tradition
    • An “Anglican” home, a strong tradition and keeping of the church festivals
    • The variety of our liturgy (BCP, modern, Taizé etc.) is appreciated but the common thread of Anglicanism is important
    • The quality and relevance of sermons and homilies are key to the worship experience
    • In addition to liturgical worship, bible studies, Lenten lunches, Advent and Lenten courses enhance the spiritual community
  • Our Music and Choirs
    • The high musical standard of the choir is integral to the worship experience
    • Membership of the Choir is open to any in the parish and is a way to bring people into the church
    • The Choir is a source of mission in Geneva and contributes to HTC’s position and standing in the Geneva community. The music offering is unique in the Suisse Romande
    • The children’s choir, the Trinity Singers, the Community Choir are initiatives which reach out and provide musical experiences beyond the traditional choir.
  • Variety of services
    • Occasionally incorporate different liturgies from the Anglican communion
    • Maintain services throughout the week as well as online worship

2.2 Our Congregation

  • Supporting our Youth, Children and Young Adults
    • Continue engaging with and speaking directly to the children of the church
    • More involvement in services/worship so youth feel included in the elements of the service.
    • Making use of small groups where families can meet informally
  • Pastoral Care for the HTC Community
    • Maintaining/expanding community for all generations, e.g. events/lunches prepared by different groups to encourage more of a mix
    • Open up to different nationalities
    • Helping the isolated and vulnerable
    • Maintaining an online option including a social option e.g. online quiz
    • New people having a mentor
  • Stewardship
    • Encourage all parishioners to contribute their time, treasure and talent
    • New members encouraged to participate in the church, including financially
    • Investigate fundraising opportunities that involve the entire congregation, including the youth of the parish.
  • Nurturing and developing whole people of God (training and equipping for ministry, 1st communion, confirmation, interns, curates)
    • Offering training courses such as Alpha
    • Provide training for laity for roles in the church and for community ministry like street outreach
    • Develop a welcoming community to integrate and help people feel more part of the church
    • In addition to liturgical worship, bible studies, Lenten lunches, Advent and Lenten courses enhance the spiritual community

2.3  Outreach and Hospitality

  • Community events
    • Opportunities like community choir
    • Opportunities during the week such as social time and Smalltime group
    • Reputation of HTC as a community partner
  • Social outreach
    • Outreach programmes, such as sandwich making for the “Jardin de Montbrillant”, the fundraising events, Samedi du Partage, have attracted people to the church and provided links with the wider Geneva community
    • It was suggested that outreach beyond Geneva, for example to developing countries could be developed
    • Outreach to refugee communities, perhaps making use of English skills
  • Ministry
    • Engaging with the difficult questions
    • The success of the “outreach” during lockdown with the provision on online “zoom” services
  • Engagement with wider community
    • Strong links to the international community in Geneva
  • Faith dialogue with other churches
    • Engage other churches in what we are doing
    • Ecumenicism. Having exchanges with local churches important
  • Aspiration and Future Vision

Several key points have emerged so far in the consultation process in terms of aspirations for HTC for the future.

  • The church’s central location is seen as unique and beneficial now and for the future.
  • There is a wish to capitalise on the benefits of Building Tomorrow e.g. having more space to increase range of groups.
  • It was suggested that outreach beyond Geneva, for example to developing countries, could be explored in the future.
  • Becoming part of the community seems to take some time – a period of about a year was mentioned before people made friends and felt “part” of the community. Can we explore encouraging this integration more quickly?
  • There is an opportunity to develop stronger links to the international community in Geneva.
  • How we will know we are succeeding

NOTE: This is not to say that there are not many areas where HTC is succeeding. The feedback from the survey and small group consultations has been very positive.

Overall, we will know we as a church are succeeding when we are able to find a common vision and purpose. The church community is diverse and finding common vision and purpose will require a commitment to serving one another in Christ’s love and embarking on mission together.

On a practical level this means identifying areas of focus for the church and building up teams of volunteers to support that work in the parish.

  •   Next Steps for Council and Congregation in Vision & Strategy Process.
  • The Coordination Group is continuing to identify consultation opportunities and will be providing an updated report to Parish Council.
  • Parish Council will discuss the Vision and Strategy Process during the Council Away Day in October.
  • Sandra Cobbin will be coming to the church to facilitate a session with the congregation to identify the strategic priorities in late October

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