We established our vision of Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples in 2010 and we are determined that, by the grace of God, we will make that vision a reality. Our strategy sets out the action we will take over the next five years to help us on that journey.
In 2017 we adopted as our goals:
- Reach people we currently don’t
- Move to growth
- Establish sustainable giving
This is a strategy for growth. It is informed by a diocesan-wide consultation process and an agreed diagnosis of the key challenges we face. We expect to see growth resulting from the initiatives under our goal to reach people we currently don’t, for which we anticipate support from the Church Commissioners Strategic Development Funding.
New work under the Reach goal will not be sustainable in itself for a considerable period. The Diocesan ‘family’ will need to understand, in being more focused on mission and growing the Kingdom, the Diocese will be more expensive to support. We do not intend to reduce stipendiary ministry posts. Instead, we must look to the generosity of our community to help achieve overall sustainability.
Our goals are beginning to shape our life as a diocesan family, as we seek to be people renewed for God’s mission. Working groups, led by members of the Archbishop’s leadership team, have been developing specific plans, translating vision into decisions and action. Meanwhile, other important ministries continue. We see this as a movement of the whole Diocese together in joy and hope — investing time, money and work now in order to build up God’s Church for the future
Reach people we currently don’t
Demographics of church attendance are unbalanced, with noticeable under-representation in places where there is deprivation, among those under 60, and a serious absence of people in the age range 20 – 40. Our plans to address the goal of reaching those we currently don’t include:
Around a dozen new worshipping communities focused on younger adults led by younger pioneer ministers.
Many new worshipping communities in our most deprived areas centred on ‘community hubs’, supported by local leaders.
New ways of being church
Helping parishes to envisage and develop new worshipping communities focussed on 20s – 40s and People in Poverty across the diocese; funding for part-time lay leadership roles or other expenses.
Move to growth
Our goal is see to growth in Christlikeness, Commitment, Partnership, Influence and Numbers. We will do this by creating capacity for growth in a number of ways, including:
Leading your Church into Growth
Helping every parish get involved with this programme, with more local, tailored opportunities and support for mission action planning.
Increasing ministry capacity
Increased capacity for worship and mission – ‘an act of worship in every mission unit at the same time every week’ – built on mixed lay and clergy teams and growing the number of Deacons.
New ways to encourage all to participate in making and nurturing disciples, planting and growing communities, and reaching children and youth.
Establish sustainable giving
Generosity, in the giving of time and money, is a natural response to God’s great love for us. As we grow in Christ-likeness as a diocese, we are confident that we will find we have more than enough resources to support his mission in this place
Strengthening parish finances
New roles – Generous Giving Advisers – to help our parishes develop generous giving through discipleship and good stewardship, and new and increased income streams.
Encouraging mutual resourcing
Achieving stronger finances so that together we can support those who struggle, especially in deprived areas – and can support our drive for mission and growth generally.
Reducing the burden
New ways of managing parish finances and reducing costs; increased support for Treasurers and Deanery Financial Advisers.