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What is a Changing Market Towns Operation manager?

Rebecca Parnell, Operation Manager in March describes her role, its purpose and blessings.

Hi! I’m Rebecca. My role is to enable delivery of the Changing Market Towns project (in March) by offering a senior support role in monitoring, reporting and managing the resources allocated to the Project, reporting to the Bishop’s Change Officer for Market Towns. I will also be assisting the clergy, Parochial Church Councils and congregations with essential administrative and financial functions to enable culture change and church growth across the March Team Ministry ie the parishes of St JohnSt PeterSt Mary and St Wendreda.

I’m pleased to say that I have been asked a lot of questions recently; it is great that everyone is taking such an interest in my role and I love having the opportunity to chat with people! The topic that crops up the most relates to what my role actually entails, so going forward, I will attempt to explain a little at a time through these magazines and via our social media pages.

Why am I recording church service figures and collection/giving amounts?

I am asked this fairly often (both directly and indirectly!) and understandably, there is frequently a tone of uncertainty accompanying the question.

As part of the Changing Market Towns Project, the next five years will see the Diocese of Ely investing £4.36 million into the region’s market towns. The idea is that this funding will enable the Diocese to transform its engagement with Fenland town com- munities in the North of the region, increasing congregations and developing ‘fresh expressions’ of church (i.e. new outreach ideas). Therefore, if the project is successful, the town should see an increase in service attendance and giving amounts across the four parishes.

Part of my role as Operations Manager is to begin recording these figures now, not so that the Diocese can identify so-called ‘poor-performing’ churches/parishes, but simply so that 6, 12, 24 etc months down the line, we can see how this investment into market towns is taking shape. It will allow us to monitor where investment is most needed and will provide the necessary information to establish if new ideas/ projects (for example a teen-aged Bible group, faith-based coffee mornings, church exhibitions, open days etc) are bringing more people to church or encouraging individuals/families to return to faith in any way.

Simply put, I am counting in order to provide a benchmark upon which the Diocese can base all future data, to establish the most suitable way/s to grow our region’s churches. And finally, I do not consider myself to be counting attendance figures, but blessings - for in my opinion, Ely is privileged to have each and every one of you as a part of their extended church.

Rebecca is the Operations Manager for the March Team Ministries.

If you have any questions feel free to email Rebecca at

Page last updated: Monday 28th October 2019 3:07 PM
First published on: 28th October 2019
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