Setting God's People Free
Setting God’s People Free is an exciting initiative launched by the national Church and adopted by Newcastle Diocese aiming to help people live out their faith confidently in everyday life as well as on Sundays; and to encourage and support the whole people of God (lay and clergy) to work together as equal partners in God’s mission.
For many years the Church of England has been debating the role of lay people within the mission and ministry of the Church. In 2017 General Synod accepted a report and an action plan that sets out ways to equip lay people for confident involvement, engagement, and leadership wherever they are called to serve. The report called for laity and clergy ‘based on their baptismal mutuality’ to recognise that they are equal in worth and status, complementary in gifting and vocation, mutually accountable in discipleship, and equal partners in mission – in order to form Christian communities that can, in terms of our diocesan vision, grow the church and bring hope to the world.This is probably one of the most important reports to come out of Church House since Faith in the City in 1985.
SGPF is not a Diocesan priority, but rather a series of interventions that can enable lay people to become more confident to work in partnership with their clergy to achieve the vision of Growing Church Bringing Hope, sometimes within the Diocesan priorities and at other times within parish and deanery initiatives.
Bishop Christine accepted an invitation for Newcastle to be one of the pilot dioceses for the SGPF learning community project. This learning community of pilot dioceses has tested and championed ideas and shared their experience with the Church as a whole.