Agreeing Current Realities (The Grove's Strategic Visioning™ Model)

Agreeing current realities is all about mapping where you are.

A parish review can help you to evaluate the way that your parish operates, its strengths, opportunities things that are threats. Below we have listed some helpful tools.

The Church Development Tool (reopening in June 2024)

The Church Development Tool is a short anonymous survey completed by worshipping communities which gives a clear picture of demographics, discipleship and evangelism in your church and shows representative your church community is of the community you serve.

Use the Church Development Tool

John Truscott Church Health Review

The review is designed to help churches assess their general health, providing a detailed checklist of areas to investigate through five themes. It also summarises five other different approaches.

Seven Marks of a Healthy Church And Angel of the Church 

Described in Robert Warren’s book “Developing Healthy Churches: Returning to the Heart of Mission and Ministry”, is a church profiling exercise, based on scoring the church against the 7 marks: 

  1. Energized by faith;
  2. Outward-looking focus with a ‘whole life’ rather than a ‘church life’ concern;
  3. Seeks to find out the Spirit’s leading rather than trying to please everyone;
  4. Faces the cost of change and growth;
  5. Operates as a community;
  6. Makes room for all being inclusive rather than exclusive;
  7. Does a few things and does them well;

The book includes a church profiling exercise, based around scoring the church on each of the 7 marks. Another useful exercise called ‘Angel of the Church’ is included in the book or you can download an editable ‘Discerning the Angel of the Church’ exercise from Derby Diocese.

Blackburn Diocese Healthy Churches Assessment Tool

This assessment tool is based on the image of trees with a survey and exercise.

Derby Diocese Mission Action Plans (MAP) - Diocese of Derby ( A toolkit to help churches grow as healthy, worshipping communities that engage in God's mission in the world.

Analytical models - SOAR

The SOAR Template offers a helpful way to review parish life and look at Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results/Resources from an Appreciative Inquiry approach.

Alternatively, you could take ideas from a visioning exercise and consider Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) for each one to think realistically about what might be possible or G.R.O.W. to decide on 'Goals', 'Realities' (strengths and weaknesses), 'Options', and what you 'Will' do. 

Church Urban Fund comparative poverty statistics

Find out more about the level of poverty in your parish and how this compares with other parishes locally and nationally here.

Parish mapping

To get an overview of your local community, you might want to conduct a community survey, if you haven’t already conducted a community listening exercise. Notice where there are businesses, care homes, schools, other churches, police or army presence, hospitals, clubs and other community connection points. 

Use the community survey

It’s also helpful to map every activity going on in your church - all the ministries, acts of worship, outreach events, buildings and financial resource. Also, encourage everyone in the church to explore their gifts and map these and their skills and experience.

Discover people's strengths in your parish

If you can, also map the history of your local area and church as far back as possible, noticing how the town came to be, any significant or traumatic events and why the church was built. Look at its culture, what it’s known for, it’s ‘feel’ and things like race relations, crime and spirituality and ask God for his perspective on the area and its spirituality.

Accessibility audits

The diocesan accessibility audit is is a series of questions to consider, some of which will require some consultation. To do the audit, contact the Diocesan Disability Advisor, Revd Alice Kemp who will come and work through the audit with you.  

Find out more about the accessibility audit 

Church Energy Audit

The Diocese of Bristol is funding free energy audits for all churches to plan their route to Net Zero by 2030.

Learn more about the Energy Audit


► Go to stage 4 - Opening to a vision

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