Becoming ‘Church Wigan’

A Notice giving details of proposed pastoral reorganisation affecting this parish has or will be displayed near the main door and on the Church of England website. The Notice includes the last date by which representations regarding the proposed reorganisation may be made to the Church Commissioners.

Our Hub Leader Rev’d Will Gibbons explains why we can embrace these proposals.

In January 2020 we are proposing to form a new parish-hub (super-parish) in the Transforming Wigan movement, sharing the deanery vision to see one in ten people in Wigan on a discipleship journey with Jesus by 2022.

We are trying to create opportunity for all of God’s people to creatively explore a new shape for mission and ministry to lead us into fruifulness for Jesus. We are committed to investing in leaders with enthusiasm, courage, and a spirit of innovation, to help lead us out on mission to grow and make disciples through planting and refreshing worshipping communities.

2019 is a year of transition from the parish system that has served the town so well in the past to a new structure to serve the town of the future. To help us remember that we are united to one vision and strategy we are calling this ‘Church Wigan’ – one church, in several hubs, with many worship communities.

I believe that this is the most exciting time to be the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16). The Town Centre Hub has unparalleled opportunity to give light to the whole ‘house’ of Church Wigan. In joining with the historic Parish Church, civic links, and expanding chaplaincy we are provided with a distinctive opportunity for mission.

The Hub is not a building, just as the church is not a building. The Hub is a space of leadership and vision, a resource for sending disciples out in mission, and a servant and partner of other organisations to make a bigger difference. The Hub is part of Church Wigan, with one vision and strategy, implemented locally to serve each community.

The writer to the Hebrews records in Hebrews 11:22  ‘By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.’

Jospeh’s dying words epitomised the hope in of the Old Testament, and indeed the New Testament, “God will surely come to you”.

We recognise the passing away of old structures of the parish system in Wigan as we look to form ‘Church Wigan’. Like preparations concerned with the dignity of embalming and preparing a body for burial, we too must recognise the rich inheritance past onto to us. However, like Joseph we do so trusting promises of God for future. The best is yet to come. God will surely come to us.

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