Our vision is to see the Kingdom of God come in the part of the west of England we serve. We have stated our purpose as creating communities of wholeness with Christ at the centre.
When the Kingdom of God draws near people sense a change:
They notice friends, family members or colleagues living differently – in their integrity and generosity, compassion and service. The marginalised and poorer members of their community are being cared for. Faith and community groups are working together with other organisations to address problems in our society. There is a renewed concern for the wider world, the environment and social injustice. And churches are not only attracting new members but gaining a reputation of meaning and purpose where all ages and kinds of people can come to know Jesus Christ as Lord.
We believe that God’s initiatives are inspired by the creative power of the Holy Spirit. We want to encourage not only the creation of new communities and initiatives but creativity within those with hundreds of years of heritage. This will involve thinking in terms of fresh possibilities and risk taking, being focused and purposeful in our activity – and should also involve lots of vibrancy and fun!
We believe that realising the Kingdom of God is best done with each other in communities. These might be as part of a local parish church or a church school, a community action or youth group inspired by Christian faith, in the work place or in social networks. We see the Trinity, where the diversity of God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit relate to one another in the unity of God, as our model for community.
We believe that these communities must aspire to wholeness. In whole communities, all are accepted and valued, everyone plays a part and we take a holistic approach to health and life. It is through Christ’s death on the cross, where he took on our brokenness, that we can become whole.
…with Christ at the centre
We believe that Christ must be at the centre. It is not about us, but the Lord we serve. He is our model and authority, our resource and inspiration. It is His presence in the world that will make the difference.
This is going to look different in different places but we believe that these sorts of communities will be growing in four key ways: commitment, partnership, influence and numbers. This is the basis of the Diocesan Growth Programme that we would like all communities that are part of the Diocese to engage in.