Explaining the CHERISH Logo and Name

31st July 2023

The name CHERISH speaks of the heart behind the programme – how do we cherish and nurture all aspects of St Mary’s church life, mission, worship, ministry and presence in the Worthies, including its physical building?

C is for Community

It’s right that Community should come first because really this is the most important aspect of the whole project. How do we ensure St Mary’s continues to be a space where its congregation and wider community can come together to pray and worship and to be a community? One of the most important jobs of a church is to bring people together to be in God’s family – the Bible calls this “the body of Christ of which each of us are a part”.

H is for History and Heritage

We have a story and many of us has played a part in the shared history of St Mary’s. As the same time we are part of God’s big story for Kings Worthy…and there’s still chapters to be written! In helping to write these new chapters, we need to cherish the heritage of St Mary’s – we live in a world where stuff gets chucked out and abandoned but we want to make sure to keep hold of the things that we should honour.

E is for Evangelism and Environment

Sharing the good news about Jesus is what we are all about and why the church exists. How might we need to do this at this time, in this place? What worked in the past might no longer work – is it time to look at this again and discern how we might talk about God’s love to new generations. The average age of the worshipper in Anglican churches is 61 – how might we reverse that, what could we do or think about doing?

And then there’s the environment. There’s no escaping the changing climate which is having disastrous consequences in parts of the world, and increasingly challenging the way we live. As Christians we have a responsibility to care for God’s creation and we need to consider this in what we buy, how we travel, in how we heat and cool our buildings, and in planning any changes to how we may worship together and meet our community needs in the future.

R is for Re-imagining

There have been moments in history where everything changes and we are given opportunities to see things through an entirely new lens and perspective. It’s important to look with fresh eyes and ask how we have got stuck in old patterns and views. In relation to church life, how might we reimagine a different future whilst being truth to our heritage and history?

I is for Inclusivity

We live in world that is largely defined by ins and outs. But the message of Jesus is all about letting folk IN and sharing that they are IN in ways they maybe cannot even see. This must extend to physical aspects of this space – how can it ever be right that some people are discriminated against or denied access simply because we have organised ourselves for our benefit and not theirs? How might St Mary’s become a radically inclusive community?

S is for Service

‘I come amongst you as one who serves, not to be served.’ These words of Jesus still resonate from, asking us to consider who and what are the needs and opportunities in the Worthies to serve? The early Church was known by its sacrificial service – throughout history, Christians have always been found in areas of greatest need, poverty, hardship and distress, because that’s where we would find Jesus, and he calls us to go in his name. In our self-absorbed world, what might service look like for us?

H is for Home

The church is many things: it’s a physical space, it’s the people, it’s a concept… and yet we want it to be a home and place of welcome for many people. St Mary’s has been home to the people of God in this area for almost a 1000 years. What does home mean and represent in this day and age, when viewed alongside all the other things?