What will be the future shape of mission and ministry in our parishes and across the diocese?

In June and July this year all PCCs will be asked to engage in detail with the Diocesan Consultation process to shape the future of our vision ‘Living Christ’s Story’. The first stage is under way with Deanery Leadership Teams, but all church members can learn about the purpose and shape of the consultation at

On the 1st February, York Diocesan Synod met online and overwhelmingly welcomed and endorsed the refreshed version of our diocesan vision proposed by Archbishop Stephen for the next steps in our journey, summarised as:

  • Becoming more like Christ – which means receiving and knowing the story ourselves. Before we do anything else we remember who we are: God’s beloved children, those whom he came to seek and save. We also remember that we know this story by prayer and service as well as by Bible study and learning. This is demandingly life-changing, and it happens by God’s grace alone working with us and through us. Without this foundation, nothing else makes sense.
  • Reaching people we currently don’t – by living and telling this story, remembering that the story we share is those two stories of what God has done in Christ and what God is doing through the Church down through the centuries and in us.
  • Growing churches of missionary disciples - which will be the best way of reaching new people and is the way we’ll grow those we reach, but also to strive to be younger and more diverse and to move towards becoming a mixed ecology church. In every community we want our churches to be places where the story of Christ is known and lived out, and where we let those stories lead us in the ways we have seen in the Mustard Seed and Multiply initiatives.
  • Transforming our finances and structures so that together we can support a presence in all the neighbourhoods and networks of the diocese – to find a new story that will not just be about sustaining our life, but recognising that our life needs to be transformed in order to be an agent of God’s transformation in the world.

During the first part of 2021, our bishops and archdeacons are meeting with Deanery Leadership Teams to begin a consultation about how we can apply this refreshed vision at a local level and take it forward.

Parishes will be invited to take part during June and July 2021. The initial stage is already under way and during the spring deaneries are considering:

  1. Growth and discipleship: how we might build on signs of hope that we are ‘Becoming like Christ’, ‘Reaching those we currently don't’ and ‘Growing missionary disciples’; what changes might overcome any obstacles
  2. Organisation: what changes to the structures of local churches / deaneries / parishes, and the ways we use our buildings would enable our mission to be more effective
  3. Financial challenges facing the diocese that are becoming increasingly real and need to be addressed
  4. Ministerial re-shaping: thoughts as to how ministry could be re-shaped in deaneries, covering all expressions of ministry, with a view to being more flexible and effective in how we Live Christ’s Story and bring his love to our communities

In preparation for the PCC or parish stage of the consultations in June/July, you can find resources and information under ‘Consultation Resources’ on our 'Living Christ's Story' home page at

  • Living Christ’s Story: the vision set out by Archbishop Stephen
  • A video (with subtitles and downloadable transcript) by Archbishop Stephen and others explaining the ideas and the process
  • A downloadable information pack about the Diocese and its people
  • The diocesan budget for 2021as agreed by Diocesan Synod
  • A downloadable ‘Toolkit of Possibilities’ to help your thinking.

God our loving Father,
you have called your Church into being in your love and strengthened us for your service.
Guide and inspire us as we seek to re-shape our approach to mission and ministry in our diocese;
that we may be a joyful Church of missionary disciples,
one in heart and mind; for the sake of your kingdom,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Go to Living Christ's Story home page