Bishop of Whitby Paul Ferguson writes:

Over a year ago, we had open meetings all over the Diocese to think about our way forward together. So what’s been happening since?

It was clear that people wanted to stay with the themes we already had: to be Generous Churches making and nurturing disciples, growing in Christlikeness, commitment, partnership, influence and numbers.

We set ourselves three shared goals:

  • Reach people we currently don’t
  • Move to growth
  • Establish sustainable finances

And we based our approach to reaching these goals on some basic principles:

  • There’s scope all over the Diocese for church life to grow
  • In some places, the shared strength and resources of the whole Diocese are needed to put plans into action
  • And for some of what we hope to achieve, we shall need to apply for money from the Church of England’s national fund for developing mission

Small groups, led by members of the Archbishop’s leadership team, have been working to put some specific plans together, translating vision into decisions and action.

You will see the first detailed update here, on reaching younger adults. We’ll be seeing more in the coming months.

Let’s not think of this as top-down management, but 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.

And let’s pray! It would be wonderful if the whole diocesan family could be united in prayer for the shared thinking and action that is ahead — to reach, grow and sustain.

  • Almighty Father, you have called your Church into being in your love and strengthened us for your service. Guide us, inspire us and make us all a joyful Church, one in heart and mind; for the sake of your kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!

+ Paul Whitby

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