On Saturday 18th October some 35 parishioners met at the Church of Ireland College of Education in Rathmines. The day commenced with registration and a light breakfast in the college restaurant. Following this there was a short Service of worship and the first session of the day was led by our external facilitator, Rev. Doug Baker. His thought provoking presentation asked us to consider
our preferred mode of sea travel between a kayak, a sail boat, a car ferry or a cruise ship. He then asked us which mode of sea travel best described the Church as it fulfils its mission in today’s world. In this exercise, it was remarkable how many chose a cruise ship as their preferred mode of sea travel, but not for their image of the Church!
It was then time for our four group sessions and these were held under the headings of: Children, Community, Controversial and Christianity (the High ‘C’s’). Two sessions were undertaken before lunch with the remaining two after.
There was then an overview feedback session with all present and a closing Service of Worship. This preliminary feedback highlighted many positives but also some of the challenges we are now facing as a parish. As this report is being written, the full feedback is still being assessed and the results of this will be made available in due course.
Without exception, all who participated in this Forum found it constructive, very worthwhile and enjoyed the experience. The only reservation voiced was that it was a pity that more did not participate and avail of the unique opportunity of having their views on the future of their parish heard. Many thanks to Rev. Doug Baker for his input, to Alan Rhodes for all his efforts in organising this event and to all who participated.