A hard but productive Mini Moot, where we generated the annual list of things people think would improve our mission, user experience and general profitability for the next years.
The rules of the Ceremony of the Creation of the Great List of Church Improvements are established since of old, and unchanging. Anyone can shout out an idea, however silly it might be to others - in accordance with our liberal beliefs. There is no such thing as a silly idea. Only ideas whose time has not yet come. And ideas whose time will never be. And those that might offend sensibilities.
And the silly ideas. There is no way we will have a Liturgical Lemur. Ridiculous. Lemurs are endangered species, and having a trained llama to take part in our ceremonies would be demeaning. If we wanted someone up front in black and white with sad eyes and that likes sitting on fences, we'd join the Church of England.
This year we have the following List of Improvements:
- More singing of traditional songs, which everybody knows;
- Longer, more expository sermons;
- Building a cathedral, as they're really popular these days;
- Replacing prayers of confession with aromatherapy - so everybody feels better about the things they have done wrong, without getting all grovelly with it.
- A deeper exploration of the powers of silent prayer and worship;
- Sundays off church;
- More modern songs to enable the congregation to appeal to a younger age group;
- Fleetwood Mac Church,
- Noisier worship to encourage chikdren;
- Liturgical Panda;
- Liturgical Dance;
- Fewer tea lights;
- Replacing the Quire with an orchestra;
- Shorter, less boring sermons;
- A points system for sin, with public naming, shaming, penitence and - if appropriate - tarring and feathering;
- More Catholic-style worship;
- Replacement bus services when the preacher breaks down;
- More people reading out their own poetry;
- Better, Fair-Trade coffee
- Pouring-Out of Beakers to be replaced by bingo to appeal to the younger generation;
- Coughing Church;
- Muddy Church for adults only (including wrestling);
- More evangelical worship;
- The Eternal Flame to be relit, now the price of petrol has gone down;
- Saving money on coffee by going back to own label instant.
- Clog dancing;
- 17th Century Reconstruction Services (not just BCP. Proper costumes as well. But skip the Plague);
- More tea lights;
- All potential Church Leaders to attebd crash courses in organising drinks-based entertainment functions in brewers;
- No - definitely fewer tea lights;
- Being a more inclusive Church by banning intolerant people;
- More cutting-edge pebble-holding-based worship activities;
- Croissants at all services;
- More progressive attitudes towards annoying people. Apparently, annoying people are a minority with no legal protection from discrimination. That mostly seemed to mean my no longer locking them in the Doily Shed. Which will probably get removed at the Committee stage.
Among ideas that were shouted down, so haven't made the cut, were "more praying" and "putting others first". These were generally agreed to be a bit impractical.
In accordance with ancient tradition, we have now generated the Improvements List in mid January.
Then the time through to March is spent in Whittling Worshops. Then in April and May we organise the Strategic Steering Groups responsible for developing the ideas that have been whittled into strategies. From June to September, we organise the Working Parties to evolve the strategies into a number of Work streams. Then from October to December, we organise the Work stream Teams to deliver the individual deliverables from the strategies. We also set up a Governance Group, with dotted lines from all Work streams, to ensure there is no duplication of effort. And the Executive Ideas Board, which has a watching brief to ensure that no two groups are trying to do the same again.
And then in January, we hold a Mini Moot to come up with a list of ideas for the forthcoming year.