St Columba is set at the heart of the village of Collingtree and seeks to serve the community of the village through service and sharing the Christian faith. Over the past 10 years or so the demographics of the village changed, the congregation became smaller and the church was made part of a group of five rural churches sharing one vicar
This clearly limited the scope of the church’s mission.
A number of things have now changed!
In 2019 plans were approved for major new housing developments in Collingtree Park. It was felt that a new vision for St Columba was needed to provide Christian witness and ministry to this growing community.
To respond to these new developments, with the resulting increase in Collingtree's population, discussions began with St Giles Northampton to think and pray towards how a partnership with this larger church might enable ministry and mission to be resourced to face this new challenge. In April 2019 a draft roadmap towards this vision was agreed with the following areas identified as essential to support these aspirations:
- A strong desire to see ministry and mission continue in the village.
- A willingness to embrace change to facilitate a new chapter in the church’s life.
- A desire for a clergy ‘presence’ in the village as a focus for the spiritual life of the church
Implementation of these plans had to be partly paused during the Covid pandemic but progress has been achieved towards these goals including:
- The incorporation of Collingtree parish into the Greater Northampton deanery as an independent parish is in progress.
- The appointment of Rev. James Howson on a 'house for duty' basis to lead St Columba Church. James is also a member of the staff team of St Giles Church to facilitate the onging partnership between the two churches.
- Members of St Giles were also asked to pray and consider joining a team to help support St Columba. See St Giles - Collingtree plan for more details. A small team from St Giles have worshiped regularly at St Giles since early 2021 and are fully involved in supporting the ministry.
- One of the outcomes of this is that we now have approval from the diocese to install a new audio-visual system in the church. Draft plans have also been produced to provide a toilet, servery and meeting room in an extension on the north side of the church building.
A new vicar for St Giles will be in post by September 2023 and we then plan to look again at the resources needed to enable St Columba to take it's mission forward to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in Collingtree Parish .
We are looking to the future and praying that God will bless this new venture with new people, new energy, new commitment and above all His bountiful grace. We welcome new faces and those who stick with us will be able to have a formative influence upon the church’s life.