Benefice of the Future
Benefice of the Future works with rural mission communities to develop their resources, and in particular their church buildings, to enable them to grow in prayer, make new disciples and serve the people of the Diocese of Winchester with joy.
We do this by supporting rural mission communities to partner with their local communities and external agencies to find sustainable missional, community, commercial or cultural uses for their church buildings, which benefit the whole community.
When we do this, we ensure that the public spaces offered by our rural church buildings, both for worship and extended missional, community, commercial or cultural use, are sustainably managed, and we seek to draw more people into the life of our rural mission communities.
Take a look at the case studies below and find out how our rural benefices are using the new technology available and how it might help and inspire you too.
North Hampshire Downs
The North Hampshire Downs Benefice offers a friendly, welcoming atmosphere and space where people can discover God for themselves and learn about the Christian way of life.
We launched a new Informal Service at All Saints Church in Odiham, a rural parish in Hampshire, in mid-2014. From the outset this has been a regular weekly service at 11.15am every Sunday morning, with the objective of offering a more informal style of worship than our existing 9.45am Parish Communion and the 8am BCP Communion weekly services. Read more
Avon Valley Partnership
The Avon Valley Partnership benefice are a group of local people of all ages and a variety of backgrounds who are united in our love for Jesus and our desire to serve others.
They have seven churches that lie on the western edge of the New Forest. It is a large and diverse area with many different communities, all of whom are important to us. So whether is running a pop – up pub at Christmas for a village which found its own temporarily out of action, or organizing social events for older residents, we want everyone to feel included.
One of our modernization projects is to introduce new branding, and this will fit in well with the revamp of our website. We’ve also installed church management software to save a little of everyone’s time on the rotas, newsletters and wedding bookings which make the church tick.
Future plans are for wi fi in 2 of our churches and then being able to stream music and video as a regular part of our services.
Pastrow Benefice - Growing the Family
The small team working in the Pastrow Benefice are looking at implementing Church Desk and starting Fresh Expressions of church.
We're looking to rebrand ourselves to give ourselves a fresh look. We're working with a design company who will look at our local demographic and how it will work with the sort of events (outside of the Christian Calendar) we choose to do as well as providing core stability for our local community.
We have decided to run 'Pastrow Pilgrimage', which is a pilgrimage that anyone can take around the Churches within the Benefice.
We'll also be advertising The Well in Tangley as a retreat centre, which will host Christian retreats, mindfulness and stress relief days too.
One of our key areas within our Benefice is Children and Families, so we hold 'Play and Praise' for any families that would like to join us.