St. Michael the Archangel
Aims and Mission
As a parish church which is part of the Church of England we are committed to living out the gospel of Jesus Christ and making him known in our lives and witness.
We seek to be at the heart of the community as a living Christian presence, sharing the love of God and serving all those who live in Malhamdale and the many who visit it, whatever their beliefs, and whether of faith or not. We strive to be an inclusive church which will help all experience the love of God whatever their age, race, gender, mental or physical abilities, or sexual orientation.
We have set ourselves the challenge of fulfilling three key objectives: being a place of prayer, a place of growth and a place of outreach. Our central mission statement is therefore ‘to make St. Michael’s a prayerful Christian presence in the midst of Malhamdale, a place of personal growth in Christ, and a place which reaches outwards with the love of God’.
Being a place of prayer means we are committed individually to seeking to deepen our faith and witness. Collectively we believe this is nurtured in our regular worship. We want to share with as many as possible the spiritual peace and calm of our 15th century church which has proved spiritually restorative for so many over the centuries.
Being a place of growth means encouraging each other to deepen our lives spiritually through worship, Bible study, and engagement with the many issues which confront society. It means trying to grow our fellowship and congregation, and also to use our church imaginatively as a resource for the community, whether people are regular worshippers or not.
Being a place of outreach means translating God’s love into practical engagement with the wider world. This will be manifested in different projects, but is currently given focus in our resolve to establish a practical link with City of Sanctuary in Leeds and supporting their work with refugees and asylum seekers. It also means our having an active ministry of welcome to visitors.
St. Michael’s has long cherished its popular description as ‘the Cathedral of the Dales’. Although not a cathedral as such, we believe that the nature of Malhamdale as a magnet for visitors calls us to fulfil a role similar to that of many cathedrals by being:
– a place of welcome and pilgrimage for all;
– somewhere where people can relate to God through prayer and reflection and go on their way recharged and energised in spirit;
– a cultural hub for music, history, art and learning;
– a place where our heritage can be explored, understood and learnt from;
– somewhere that values working ecumenically, particularly for us fostering local links with the Methodist Chapel in Malham and the Friends Meeting House in Airton;
– a safe space for those who have no specific religious affiliation but are drawn to explore, however tentatively, the nature of faith.