MARY MCKENNA, Convener of Council, encourages us to enjoy the summer holidays!

There is nothing better than a well-earned rest after working hard, especially if the sunshine’s too. At St Mark’s, we have been working hard and we have all earned some time to relax, to breathe deeply and enjoy a good summer break.

In late June we held our AGM, approved our Annual Report and selected a new Council. Before we settled into the business of the AGM we had an interesting exercise, inviting everyone to engage in structured conversations around key questions, such as: .

• Why we come to St Mark’s?

• What matters to us?

• What makes us uncomfortable?

• How do we explain our community to others?

Inevitably in trying something new there were some logistical problems. We did not give people time to prepare their thoughts, the time for discussing each topic was too short and the logistics of moving between tables were not appropriate for some people. Apologies, we will address these things better when we undertake such consultations in future.

Despite these constraints there was a real buzz in the upper hall and people really engaged and shared their views. At the time of writing this column the comments and views from these conversations are being collated. When the notes are written up they will be shared with everyone, so that those who were unable to be present are able to connect and contribute to this dialogue. Some points raised, need action and these will be progressed, other feedback will influence and inform our vision and our planning for the future. This exercise heralded a new way of working, encouraging more active participation of members and friends in St Mark’s. We wish to be a listening, responsive, caring community, which aspires to celebrate and share our rich history in liberal religion, with others who are searching to find a like-minded community.

Let’s enjoy the summer festivities, let’s be enriched by the joy of others, let’s be inspired by the possibilities ahead, and let’s regain our strength to go forward together.