The Diocesan Synod has endorsed a strategic plan focused on activity at diocesan level to support our Creating connections vision and priorities.
Each parish is being asked to play its part in contributing to Creating connections and to the priorities of making disciples, growing leaders and engaging younger generations. Parishes are using the Creating connections toolkit and other means to develop plans that support the vision.
In turn the Bishops Council and Bishops Staff Team have taken their responsibility to establish a plan that ensures activity and resources are directed most effectively.
The diocesan strategic plan, which will address different activity to parish plans, aims to enhance and spread mission practice, ministry and finances. The plan makes six specific choices about what we do in a focused way that will make the most difference, over and above the essential work of constantly improving management and support by the Diocesan Support Services.
Each strategic initiative will engage at a different level with parishes and ministers:
- The Synod discussed the proposal of six key practices that parishes can adopt to help them make disciples, grow leaders and engage younger generations.
- These are being consulted on further and will be launched at the Connected conference
- The Mission Areas programme is being launched this year in a town, rural and outer urban context following the successful bid for 950,000 to the national Church's new Strategic Development Fund
- The new approach to Parish Share and the support from our Giving & Resources Adviser, Clare Fussell, to parishes in increasing their giving is already bearing fruit
- Strengthening the Dioceses Multi-Academies Trust (DBAT) is growing Christian influence and the number of children in church schoolsOur investment in vocations and leadership development is enabling new leaders to grow
- Our strategic approach to finances is freeing up assets to invest in our initiatives.
The Diocesan Synod also agreed a range of indicators that reflect impact on attendance, Christian initiation, discipleship and leadership participation and finances, to set us in the right direction and help us chart our progress. In making their plans, each parish can work out what their contribution will be.