Walk Cornwall 2 - 21st September to 13th October 2013
You can read stories from team members about the mission here
Read the daily 'blog' written during the mission here
Review of Walk Cornwall 2
The call to come to Cornwall was made by local church leaders including Bishop Tim and the Rev Steve Wild. A Task Force of people from across the denominations was established to coordinate the mission.
TFM were delighted to receive this call to follow on from WC1 back in 1993 and other smaller missions that have been held over the years in the county.
Our role is always to only go where invited and to work in partnership with local churches in the task of outreach. Following the invitation a programme of visits to churches leaders was put in place so that a personal call to participate could be offered and just under 400 people were contacted and visited.
As a consequence just over 250 separate churches decided to participate and were organised into 47 different centres split over the 3 weeks; 19 in week 1, 16 in week 2 and 12 in week 3. There was also a central TFM staff team facilitating events in all areas. In approximate terms the churches were 50% Anglican, 25% Methodist and the final quarter being made up by the remaining denominations.
The centres were served by volunteers from across the UK (and one from Spain); over 10% came from Northern Ireland. They came at their own expense and agreed to work in whatever capacity and programme the locals wanted. In total there were 337 volunteers but these were significantly and profoundly matched by an unknown number of church members who shared in the outreach. In one area it was estimated that over 90% of the congregation were actively involved in one way or another. At the other extreme one team worked with just one or two people who had a heart to see outreach in their area even if their church didn’t and wanted to go the extra miles to enable this to happen.
It is difficult to quantify the ‘success’ of such a mission. We know from team reports (a snap shot of stories can be viewed on the Walk Cornwall website blog, that some tremendous work was done. Also feedback from churches has been very positive. Even areas which initial proved to be difficult, with tensions between what the churches expected and what the teams had been led to believe they would be doing, feedback has been encouraging.
Almost all teams were involved in street and door to door work and we calculate that;
just under 20,000 homes were visited during the course of the 3 weeks
around 9,000 surveys into what people believe were carried out, and
the contact details of approximately 950 people were left with church leaders to follow up.
It will not be the case in all areas but a key result is the commitment of many churches to continue outreach. Many were challenged to ‘get out of their comfort zone’ and be involved, realising that actually their fears were unfounded and that it was possible to talk to people quite openly about faith in Jesus.
That the Walk happened was a result of much prayer over many years. That the walk was received so well is because God was there first. That the affects will continue will be the result of ordinary people continuing to reach out. Seeds sown in the past were reaped but new seed was also sown, the fruit of which we will probably never know. For all, we ‘Praise God’.