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Gorebridge & Temple Parish Mission Audit - Summary

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Gorebridge & Temple Parish Mission Audit - Summary

The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood John 1:14 (Message Translation) Welcome to the Gorebridge and Temple Mission Audit - Skimmed version, which contains the most important insights from the Gorebridge and Temple Mission Audit. You can find the full fat version on-line at www.gorepc.com/audit or contact Mark Nicholas for a printed version. The Mission Audit was commissioned in Autumn 2011 by the Leadership Team of Gorebridge Parish Church on behalf of the Kirk Session to help identify opportunities for engagement, service and evangelism in the local community. We needed this information to help us form our community mission strategy and to further our plans for the development of the church buildings. When we approach potential funding partners outwith the Church for helping to fund mission development, they will need to know that we have conducted proper research, but it is also important that we ourselves know why such development is both desirable and necessary. The Mission Audit represents the start of an exciting new phase of the life of GPC. In here we have our views, the views of key people in the community and the fruit of prayerful discernment of the Fathers purposes for GPC. May we take hold of the opportunities that Jesus is presenting to his Church in our time and our parish, so that many will come to know Jesus and live in the reality of his love. Rev Mark Nicholas, Minister, Gorebridge Parish Church Dr. Jonathan Humphrey, Consultant and Associate Minister GPC 26 March 2012Copyright Gorebridge Parish Church 100 Hunterfield Road, Gorebridge EH23 4TT Charity Number SC004673 www.gorepc.com

Our VisionGorebridge Parish Church has a VISION for community mission We seek to be a community where everyone is encouraged to live in the reality of Jesus' love and we commit ourselves to being embedded in the life of our community, sharing its pains and its triumphs, to be community builders, and to actively participate in as many local groups as we can

Why do we need to a Mission Audit now?The church is already doing lots IN the community and FOR the community, but this Audit is needed to record everything that is going on and also to identify new opportunities for community engagement, service and evangelism as: A basis for developing a community mission strategy To inform development of our buildings to support the mission strategy

How was the Mission Audit carried out?We used a method used by many churches across the UK called multilistening. This involves listening to God, to the community and to the church as is shown in the diagram below. To this we added insights from the wealth of printed and on- line information and data available for the parish and its surroundings. In short the MA is about bringing together evidence from people, prayer and place.

Existing documents, data, web sites

Interviews with community practitioners

Congregational Questionnaire; review of existing activities; interviews with groups, Leadership Team and Kirk Session

Prayer; teaching syllabus

Existing informationInformation available for the parish included: Socio-economic, health and well-being statistics that make up the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) Planning documents such as the Gorebridge Locality Plan and Midlothian Moving Forward published by the Midlothian Community Planning Partnership Historical information e.g. from web sites such as www.templevillage.org.uk

All this information was gathered and analysed to get an accurate picture of the parish.

Community contactsA list of over 30 organisations and people in the community was put together and from this a short list of individuals with prominent roles in the community was drawn up and face-to-face discussion carried out.

Contact PC Mark Singleton Councillor Jim Muirhead Archie Pacey MBE Gillian Grant Dr Sarah Goss Eric Johnstone

Organisation Lothian & Borders Police Midlothian Council Community Council; Gorebridge Community Development Trust Gorebridge Primary School Newbyres Medical Group Midlothian Community Care Forum

Laurence Reid, Midlothian Council: Community Learning & Karen McGowan Development and Derek Welsh Each person was asked to identify what, in their opinion, were the main challenges and problems facing the community and how the church might get involved in helping to address these.

PrayerGod has great plans to extend his Kingdom in power in Gorebridge and Temple and GPC is called to be part of these plans. He directs us through his Holy Spirit, and reveals his plans through prayer, prophetic insights and the preaching and teaching syllabus. So we carried out a review of the remarkable things God has been saying to the church about the community over the past few years.

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain Psalm 127: 1

Our parishGorebridge and Temple Parish (see map) covers about 48 sq. miles and is a mix of urban, per-urban, rural and agricultural land. The overall population of the parish is about 6500. Most people in the parish live in Gorebridge village which in 2009 had a population of around 6000.

Microsoft 2011 Bing Maps

The history of the parish begins in 1128 with establishment of a church by the Knights Templar in Temple. The current building in Gorebridge began life in 1837 as one of Thomas Chalmers first church extensions a mission station with a vision to reach the unchurched in a rapidly expanding industrial town.

Future plansSome of the challenges facing the community include the lack of amenities such as shops and community buildings and the plans for further housing development.

2012 Googlemaps

The Local Plan for Midlothian includes a commitment to a 70% increase in dwellings in Gorebridge from around a current total of 2684 in 2008 to 4558. Seven different localities have been earmarked around the village. The three shown in the map above are currently being developed by Persimmon and Charles Church homes and will yield about 420 houses. A whole new village, complete with a primary school is planned at Redheugh located in the top left corner of the map. A new community building the HUB is being built next to the church. All these new developments present us with exciting opportunities for mission.

Scottish Index of Multiple DeprivationThe map on the right shows the nine SIMD datazones that make up the parish. There are significant pockets of income deprivation, drug and alcohol problems in Gorebridge compared to Scotland and Midlothian as a whole. For example, over the 2001-2004 period hospital admissions for alcohol related problems in some parts of Gorebridge were almost twice the national average. In 2009 over 21% of Gowkshill people in Gorebridge were judged to be income deprived compared to Barleyknowe 16% nationally Arniston and 13% in Midlothian. In Burnside some parts of Gorebridge the Newbyres figure is over Temple & 32% income Surroundings deprived. Vogrie Sharing the Central gospel with the poor and Birkenside offering practical help is a key calling of the church (Luke 4: 18-19)

Our congregationA congregational questionnaire (left) was put together to find out who was currently attending worship and active in the life of the church and community. Folk were also asked if they had any ideas for how the church could engage with the community in new ways. Almost 80 people representing all ages and genders filled in the questionnaire. Some had only been worshipping at GPC for a few years while others had been attending for over 40 years.

Over 91% of those filling in a questionnaire were involved in at least one activity beyond worshipping on Sunday. Over 30% were involved in 5 or more activities.

Number of groups/activitiesPercent of people questioned 25 20 15 10 5 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 or more

Attendance at worshipA census of those attending Sunday morning worship was carried out in autumn 2010 and 2011. On average, attendance was between 120 and 130, with a wide spread of ages.Females 20 15 Number 10 5 0 65 Males

Age Group (Years)

Gorebridge Percentage of total population 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Children

GPC -attendance at worship

Working Age

Pensionable Age

When compared to the population of Gorebridge as whole, the percentage of those of working age attending worship was lower, whereas the percentage of children was higher.

Ideas for community engagementThose that filled in the Congregational Questionnaire were asked the question in what new ways would you like to see the church engage more effectively with the local community? The pie chart below illustrates that there were a wide range of responses to this question but also a clear focus on the poor, youth, families, those affected by substance abuse and on healing, prayer, prophecy and worship.

Previous members Substance Grief community 3% counselling abuse groups 3% 9% 0% marriages 4% 3% Alpha, discipleship course 4% Elderly 5% Healing, prayer worship, Families, prophecy parenting 16% 9%

Schools Reps on 3%

Sports 2%

Poor 21%

Youth 18%

ThemesDrawing together all the information from prayer, reviews of existing documents, the congregational questionnaire and interviews with key community practitioners, the following five themes for community engagement and mission were identified. Options within these themes are described over the next few pages. Worship services including healing services, prophecy and prayer for the community

Theme 1

Theme 2

Supporting the community - meeting the needs of vulnerable adults

Theme 3

Supporting the community - meeting the needs of children, young people and families

Theme 4

Improving opportunities tackling social and economic disadvantage

Theme 5

Improving opportunities education and learning

Theme 1

Worship services including healing services, prophecy and prayer for the community

Set up a healing ministry either in the church or new Hub building Establish a permanent prayer room in the church Hold a 24/7 prayer week focusing on prayer to prioritise actions for community engagement Hold a yearly church service to affirm and encourage Community champions

Theme 2

Supporting the community - meeting the needs of vulnerable adults

Using the church buildings for support groups, rehabilitation ministries and counselling services for those affected by drugs, alcohol, mental health or bereavement issues Support the Community Caf and extend the number of drop-ins and caf times Set up an informal referral system with Community Police, Newbyres Medical Group so that vulnerable people can be offered support from the Pastoral Care Team Work with partners to establish a Neighbour Watch scheme for vulnerable elderly people Increase church presence at the Gorebridge Gala day and other local festivals

Theme 3

Supporting the community - meeting the needs of children, young people and families

Consolidate and expand the churchs role as the principle provider of youth services in the community Extend the use of the church buildings to provide support groups for parents and children Offer parenting and marriage courses either from the church buildings or in the Hub Set up a youth meeting place within the church and continue to support the girls brigade encouraging the development of new leaders Hold gigs, concerts and events using the sanctuary where appropriate

Theme 4

Improving opportunities tackling social and economic disadvantage

Develop the Community Recycling project and caf drop-in; befriend those out of work and offer volunteering opportunities as a way of fostering empowerment Confirm Christians Against Poverty agreement with the Midlothian CAP Centre and train volunteer debt counsellors Establish a food co-op and food parcel service Rent office space in the Hub to improve connections with the community and help secure the economic future of the Hub building

Theme 5

Improving opportunities education and learning

Get involved in the planning of assemblies and curricular topics in the Gorebridge primary schools Continue to offer the church halls for educational events Extend the opportunities for people to come on an Alpha course Deepen the level of discipleship training in the church by piloting the Freedom in Christ discipleship course

Building improvementsGorebridge Parish Church occupies a prominent position in the centre of Gorebridge and has the largest indoor public space in the village. The buildings are therefore of key importance for the community and need to be developed in a way that best serves emerging community requirements. Suggestions from the congregation for building improvements are shown in the graph below and summarized in the purple box.Number of respondents

2520 15 10 5 0

Creation of new disabled parking areas alongside the south side of the church and improvement of access and entrance facilities Removal of pews and creation of multi-purpose space in the sanctuary complete with upgraded audio-visual equipment Renovation of the large hall, creation/addition of new storage space Split-levelling the small hall to create youth facilities, and creation of independent access and facilities

Where do we go from here?So far the Kirk Session has adopted the Mission Audit as a working document and over the coming year the Leadership Team has been given the task of drawing up a community mission strategy. There is clearly almost unlimited scope for GPC to get involved in a wide range of community engagement activities, but we need to prayerfully discern the Fathers purposes for GPC, talk in more depth with our partners in the community and find out where we can make a difference for the kingdom. Since the inception of this Mission Audit there have been a number of exciting developments. A Community Recycling Project has been running since early December 2011 and now generating income for CAP and for other community projects. Our Youth Minister Ross Watters is now participating in the life of Gorebridge Primary School on a weekly basis. We are also looking seriously at the introduction of a food parcel service. Lastly we need to firm up our plans for renovating our buildings so that they are fit for the purposes of serving the community, extending Gods Kingdom and encouraging all to experience what it is like to live in the reality of Jesus love.Acknowledgements We are grateful to the members and attenders of Gorebridge Parish Church who provided much valued information for this report and gave selflessly of their time to engage in interviews and discussions. Likewise we are grateful to those in the wider community who gave of their time and energy to help focus this audit on the key needs and issues facing the parish of Gorebridge and Temple Finally, we especially thank the Leadership Team and Kirk Session members who in faith approved the release of resources to complete this Audit

Architects view of the HUB next to Gorebridge Parish Church