Anglican Church Basel

The invitation to write this article couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as I had just set out a vision for the future of the Basel chaplaincy at our recent AGM. For the three years I have been Chaplain we have been working hard on a Mission Action Plan which focused on such issues as children and families work, youth work, pastoral care, good charitable links, working with volunteers and social outreach. In particular we were wanting to be a church that was outward looking, serving our community. We have worked hard to develop these areas and the time is right to move on.

Based on Matthew 5 verses 14 to 16 we believe ACB should be a church which shines light throughout the English-speaking community of Basel and beyond, but at the moment we realise we are hiding our light under a basket. In order to become a beacon which attracts people to God and to our church we need to be seen. 

So how do we do this? We believe that we need a radical approach to our communications. We often put on activities that our own members don’t come to, and then people later say I wish I had known that was going on because I would have loved to have come. If we as a community of faith don’t know about events, how can others from outside our community know about them. We advertise, have a website etc., but more is needed.

In 1 Timothy we read: ‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind’. It is easy to read such a verse but much harder to live it.   Most of us are fearful of going out and actively promoting our church and asking people to come and join us or asking if we as a church can join them in doing a project. But if everybody lost their fear and went out, just imagine the impact it could have in our church and more particularly in our community.

So, what are we going to do?

  1. Have a small group of people dedicated to meeting regularly and praying for this vision. This is not our mission it is God’s mission and we should be talking to him about it and listening to what he says to us.
  2. Get individuals to pray about and think about what they can do to promote this vision. Our environmental team are already talking to the Basel Council about environmental issues that we as a church could join in with. Are there other projects in Basel and the surrounding area that as a church we feel that we can participate in?
  3. Make sure that we as a church are sustainable in terms of people power. In most churches a small group of committed people do the bulk of the work and wear themselves out. We need to get everybody committed to working towards this vision.
  4. Become a church that is sustainable in terms of finances so that we have the resources to do mission.
  5. Communicate better and look at ways we can promote ourselves to the outside world.

According to the national statistics, in the Basel region, there are over 35,000 people with English as their first language and many more who enjoy speaking English. Many of these people don’t even know we exist, so we have quite a task. However, with God’s help we know that all things are possible.

Hilary Jones, Chaplain at Anglican Church Basel