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St Colman's Dumurry

The Church of St Colman is situated in the village of Dunmurry. About 250 families have connection with this church. About half of the families live within the parish boundary while the remainder travel in, mainly from the Lisburn direction. The present Rector Rev'd. Adrian McLaughlin was instituted on 18th June 2014. To assist worship in the church there is a Parish Reader and robed choir. Sunday School and The Big Breakfast meet in the Parochial Hall. Other groups include Mothers' Union, Bowling Club, and The Taskforce.

St Colman's Dumurry

The days of churches being filled to capacity seem to have passed. Yet, there are real stories of dying churches coming back to life. When we hear about these newly enlivened churches one of the first things we want to know is, how was it done? And can it be done anywhere else?

Church leaders use the phrase 'Maintenance to Mission' when they talk about all this. This phrase in itself may mean nothing to you yet but what it means is a challenge. The leaders invite parishes to look at 1) where they are now and 2) where they are heading or, put another way, is the church heading to growth or decline?

So it is a challenge, for everyone in a parish, if there was an easy answer all churches would be full! And this is how we address this challenge in Dunmurry
(read below to find out more):

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How Does it Work?

First and foremostly I fervently believe that new life is only breathed into a Parish through God's Holy Spirit. As followers of Christ we are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit, but we must breathe it in! His work is a continual process, just as people must breathe every few seconds to live, so the church must keep breathiing in His Spirit.

What does this mean?

There are practical steps that we as a parish can do to work with the Holy Spirit to make
God's church grow. We can already see the fruit of that growth: the number of people coming to Dunmurry is increasing. But more importantly, we can see spiritual growth here too though our worship and witness on a practical level witin our community.
Yet we, and all Churches have to ask some hard and uncomfortable questions of ourselves. Andbe willing to work hard to answer them!

What if we don't change anything?

If we are happy to maintain the status quo then, in Dunmurry, we can just about do that. But for how many more generations, how many more years?

If we want more, then we, in Dunmurry parish, have to reach out. We have to be open and welcoming to new people. There is so much potential all around us.We will grasp it.

What we are going to do

The areas that we in St. Colman's, Dunmurry are developing, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, are:

Children's Ministry - build up the Sunday School and links with the young families.

Youth Ministry - build up the Youth fellowship and encourage our young people

Support for the elderly - visiting the elderly in their homes could be extended. Opportunities for training in pastoral visitation exist within the Diocese and those who become involved in this work find it fulfilling

Stronger links with Local Missions - explore how we can practically support the work that is already carried out at local level by home mission agencies

Stronger links with Overseas Missions - develop a link with an overseas partner and steadily build it up until it becomes a proper relationship and one day we both come and go and see how each other live and work and witness the gospel message

Relevant and creative worship both inside our church - develop and awareness and a sensitivity to the needs of all ages within the church. This may mean give and take from young and old, but we are never too old or young to be taught by the Holy Spirit if we are open to his transforming breath. The words on the hymnal say Old and New and within the church we want to make room for both. Explore how we can integrate our young families and children into the weekly worship of the church. Be as creative as we can with the resources we have at the moment but dare to dream of what could be.

and outside our church - build up our links with local churches, our local Bible college, develop the house groups, pray that the prayer group will grow and be the engine room of the church. Offer courses that will help people grow and deepen their faith in Christ and help them live out an authentic Christian life.

Build up community - explore areas of need in our community that are not being addressed by anyone else.

Create opportunities for people to use their God given gifts in service



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