On Saturday 15 October 2022, Deanery Development Groups (DDGs) from across the diocese met to hear about the launch of the Deanery Mission Planning process.
This task is for each deanery to develop their vision and mission for the deanery, consistent with the values and priorities discerned by the diocese, and produce a plan for the deployment of our clergy and lay ministry. In support of this, there are four key documents:
Praying and Learning Together resources – to help equip and support us throughout the planning process, and beyond.
A revised Deanery Development Groups Handbook – a reminder of the role of DDGs and their remit.
A Briefing document which provides some overarching background and context.
A Deanery Mission Planning Template - which has been shared separately with each deanery – containing both data to support and inform the planning process, and the planning template to be completed and submitted by each deanery.
You can watch Bishop Mark's introduction to the planning day and prayer below. You can watch other videos from the day here.
In addition to this, a deanery specific briefing outlining some specific observations regarding the context and opportunities in each deanery has been shared with each DDG. Should you have any questions in respect to either the data content or how to interpret it, please do not hesitate the get in touch with Chris Elder at email@example.com.
At our mid-point check-in on Saturday 4 February 2023, we shared our experiences with the planning process and heard more about one of the key diocesan priorities: how we ‘grow younger’ in each of our places. There was also an encouragement to consider the role that Retired Ministers, Readers and Authorised Lay Ministers play in our ministry, and to include these in the deanery planning considerations as appropriate. A takeaway from the meeting was the Open & Sustainable 101 Checklist – one of the key resources, developed by the Rural Churches for Everyone (RCfE) project, to support PCCs in understanding how open and sustainable our churches are, and to develop a bespoke improvement plan. Whilst the checklist was developed for rural contexts it is more widely applicable to urban contexts too. The checklist can be found here.
The DDGs are asked to submit their deanery plans to the Archdeacons by Friday 30 June 2023.
Our hope is that, through this process, we discern the way forward together to meet the challenge of serving and proclaiming the gospel in each and every one of our contexts. As we journey together, we do this in a spirit of hopeful realism – aware of the challenges of resource but acknowledging that God is seeking to do a new thing and prompting us to do things differently in order that we might be a diocese that is growing church bringing hope.