11 July 2013 saw Stephan Welch, the Archdeacon of Middlesex (left), conducting his ‘triennial visitation’ to St Philip’s. As both the Deputy Wardens at St Philips are new appointees –Anne Steele in 2012 and Peter Burney in 2013 – this news was both exciting and terrifying.
All the wardens in the Diocese had just attended a large service at St Paul’s Cathedral – also described as a ‘visitation’. Would the Archdeacon expect massed choirs and confetti? No. An exchange of e-mails confirmed that he would like to see the inventory of the church’s possessions to check we were maintaining it properly. And he had a ‘short’ questionnaire for us to complete in advance. Although the inventory was relatively easy to check, the 12-page questionnaire proved a more interesting exercise, making us think hard about whether we were doing things the right way.
On the day, the Archdeacon spoke to us about the key areas of the church’s ministry. He was particularly interested in the work our children’s Ministry Leader, Erica Roane, was doing with the children and the strong links we had built with our local school. He was also interested in plans the Church Council has recently been discussing: a survey of our local community and making our building a better environment for worship and meeting.
And when he comes again in three years, we’ll try to have choirs and confetti!