Report from the Open Forum – held on May 3rd 2012



 OPEN FORUM –  3 MAY 2012


The invitation went out to all members of the church and congregation:

The meeting will be held in
The Trinity Rooms
Refreshments will be provided.

The meeting is to be the first in a series.

“Its purpose is for the Church Council to hear your views and ideas on how the Church can be developed, and for us to outline what we have been working on for the past year and our plans for the future.

We welcome your views and ideas so please come along to help us in our plans for The Church. “

The Programme

 Purpose and Programme:

 The meeting will be OPEN and INFORMAL. We need to emphasise from the outset that we VALUE people’s input and comments. The meeting is about the whole church community and friends. 


 1. To hear the views and ideas of those attending on:

                                          How Holy Trinity can be developed and improved,

                                          What people need from us,

                                          What you would like to see us do more of or less of

                                           What would encourage you to become more involved and to tell

                                          others that we are a Christian and joyful place to be.

2. For us to explain what we have been working on and what our priorities for the future are. To demonstrate that we having been listening to people’s feedback and that we are going through a gradual process of change.


 Becoming better communicators

Being more open

Being more transparent

Engaging with all who worship and use Holy Trinity Church for a better sense of community


 Complaints and reconciliation process

Better leadership and governance

Church yearly plan

Expectations of Council members (Code of Conduct)

Training for Council and the Development

Becoming an INCLUSIVE church

Setting up a fundraising committee and strategy

Setting up a communications group to oversee and improve communications

Increasing number of volunteers (skills audit etc)

Looking at role of ‘team leaders’




 The main themes that came out of the day were as follows:




 The backdrop to the discussions was that of limited church resources and therefore we would need to agree priorities.

 The positive response from the meeting was that we should consider centering new activities around existing activities, for instance, Wednesday and Saturday tea parties, Art Group and Sunday service and reception, and others e.g. Film Nights. Additionally we needed to link in with other organisations doing similar things e.g. Red Cross and the British Legion.

 The meeting acknowledged the plans to develop a long term fund raising strategy.

 Under these headings many issues were raised.


– a need for a newsletter for the island population

– to have regular messages from the Chaplain

– to ensure that the website was current and updated as well as modernised

– to have a church external notice board which displayed our activities and had photos of activities

– to recognise that we would be communicating with different audiences (residents, church attendees and visitors) and at different levels of need

– making links with the Portuguese press

– raising profile through hotel management groups

– putting together a new wedding package

– a need for better PR and profile raising


 – making links with the English schools

– encouraging them to use our grounds for some activities (e.g. school sports  days)

– engaging with the Portuguese communities, starting with our street (getting them to a Wednesday afternoon, holding a street tea party etc)

– having a Christmas Bazaar and Spring Fayre to engage those who do not come to church regularly and to provide low cost goods (made by volunteers)

– toe nail cutting service

– increase and diversify film nights

– have Bingo back

– hold games evenings

– start lunch club (also under 3)

– getting visiting schools singing carols at Christmas

– to look at church giving


 The communication activities will greatly assist with this.


– having a Fish Fayre as community gathering and fundraiser

– continuing work on reducing tensions (and acrimony)

– keeping the ‘power’ struggles out of the domain of all

It was agreed that another forum would be held in 3 months to discuss our progress and continue developments, and may I take this opportunity to give a huge thank you to all those who took part.

Bobbie Pote

Church Secretary

About holytrinitychurch

This is the official blog site for the Anglican Church of The Holy Trinity, and the historic British Cemetery situated in the heart of the city of Funchal, on the glorious, Portuguese island of Madeira. It is hoped that this blog will encourage dialogue, however, comments deemed to be blasphemous, offensive or personal will not be published.
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