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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

summary of @c_of_e #diocese strategies with links to key webpages & documents

This is the 5th weekly Wednesday post on #cofestrategy.  

It is based on my review of the strategy documents on the CofE Diocese and  HQ websites as at May/June 2014.

The 1st post in this series was Strategy Headline Statements – a summary of key words each diocese uses.

The 2nd post was Strategy Subject Checklist - a summary of key subjects covered by diocese strategy.

The 3rd post was on Strategy Measures -  a summary of those used by the various diocese strategy.

The 4th post was on Strategy Best Practice - 10 thoughts to ponder.

The 5th post  (this) was a Summary of each diocese strategy with links to key documents and websites

The 6th post was a Selection of the graphics & analogies used in some of the diocese strategy

The 7th post was Theology/thinking behind some of the various cofe strategy - with links to documents

This 5th post is the summary I created of each diocese strategy as I trawled through the various websites and documents available.  Where I have added text for clarity that was not in the source materials this is in red coloured font

CofE - at the national level (source =s these papers GS Misc 995, GS Misc 1025GS Misc 1054GS1815)

Main Themes/Objectives - The Archbishop of Canterbury‟s words in his Presidential Statement to the November 2010 General Synod where he said ‘Three main themes have emerged with absolute clarity. We are called
i) To take forward the spiritual & numerical growth of the Church of England including the growth of its capacity to serve the whole community of this country; 
 ii) To re-shape or reimagine the Church’s ministry for the century coming, so as to make sure that there is a growing & sustainable Christian witness in every local community; &  iii) To focus our resources where there is both greatest need and greatest opportunity.’ 

Areas of work/Priorities 
- the Archbishops‟ Council & House of Bishops developed the above themes into 3 areas of work
1) Contributing to the common good - A declared goal To promote resourceful communities infused with the values of God’s kingdom &, particularly at a time of economic hardship in society, to enhance the capacity & commitment of the Church both to stand alongside people facing unemployment & financial insecurity. 
2) Promoting spiritual & numerical growth - To seek sustained numerical & spiritual growth in the Church of England over the next quinquennium & beyond. 
3) Reimagining ministry - To reshape, re-imagine & re-energise ministry in the Church of England so that it is equipped both to grow the church in every community & contribute to ‘the common good’. 

These 3 are interconnected & mutually reinforcing. There is no hierarchy between them. Each is indispensible to the effective pursuit of the three objectives set out in the November Presidential Statement. All flow from faithful discipleship.’ 

It is worth reflecting on what it means to make something a priority. What it doesn‟t mean is that you do nothing else. What it does mean is that we have identified three areas to which we are seeking to apply fresh thinking, new energy and a certain sense of urgency. On these themes at least, we want the Church to reach the end of the quinquennium in 2015 in a different place from where we began it. In relation to the local church, the national bodies of the Church of England have three main roles: to do nationally those things which can only be done effectively and are done most efficiently at national level; to find ways to support the dioceses and parishes in their work, and sometimes to give additional support to aspects of church life which are in danger of being marginalised. All three roles require different kinds of action to be taken. 

5 marks of mission - adopted by the General Synod of the Church of England in 1996.

1) To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom
2) To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
3) To respond to human need by loving service
4) To seek to transform unjust structures of society
5) To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and to sustain the life of the earth

Bath & Wells - Changing Lives (source = website as at 15/5/14)  
Aim: To resource & encourage confident Christian communities which express joyful hope in the Gospel, for the sake of the world which they serve.
Vision:  Changing Lives, Changing Churches for Changing Communities (this is also described as their Mission Strategy)
Challenge: With Changing Lives, our two bishops are challenging the Diocese to ‘think differently’ about itself, in the light of the fast-changing world around us. At the heart of Changing Lives are two questions: 1) What kind of church do we want to be?  2) How will we shape our ministry and mission to become that church?
Aspirations: there are 4 Calling - This Diocese seeks to affirm the call of all the baptised & to nurture & encourage the giftedness of each. Tranformation - This Diocese seeks to proclaim the Christian gospel afresh in each generation in ways that will transform the lives of individuals & communities.  Renewal - This Diocese seeks to re-energise its clergy & lay people with the gospel story through inspired worship & teaching & personal development.  Reshaping - This Diocese seeks to enable the whole Body of Christ to be the church in its locality by supporting & offering appropriate resources to parishes, local ministry groups, church schools & other expression of Christian community 
Principles: No-one alone - supporting each other in ministry & mission. On your doorstep - providing worship & witness in every parish in the Diocese. Better together - servicing worship & mission through local ministry teams & local ministry groups of ordained & lay leadership. The 'reconversion' of Somerset - sharing the love of Christ with individuals & the communities around us
Also see David Keen2 July 2014 15:25 comment at foot of post

Birmingham - Transforming Church (source = website as at 16/5/14.  Theology behind Transforming Church) 
Vision: to grow churches at the heart of each community. At the heart of the vision for Transforming Church is an understanding that God is a missionary God, who calls on us to share in his mission to all creation. 
Transformation Areas: 1st there are 7 which will form the basis of prayerful discussions in every parish, seeking to develop the church’s mission in a way that is appropriate & achievable. These are like the stalagmites in a cave: they grow from the bottom up. Worship - Drawing us into the presence of the Living God.  Relationships - Finding healing, encouragement & challenge through our life together. Discipleship - Enabling us to grow as confident followers of Jesus. Leadership - Releasing & harnessing the gifts of all God’s people. Presence - Living out God’s love in our communities & the wider world.  Outreach - Leading others to believe in Jesus & belong to his Body. Partnerships - Working together with people of goodwill to see God’s purposes fulfilled.
Church Goals: - 2nd there are 10 Transforming Church Goals, setting out the Bishop’s vision for his diocese & helping us to share in a broader vision than the purely congregational. These are like the stalactites in a cave: they grow from the top down. Where this initiative will produce the strongest is where the ‘stalagmites’ (see Transformation areas above) & ‘stalactites’ grow to join each other & form a pillar.1) Growth - To grow the number of adults, young people & children within the worshipping Christian community year on year. 2) Opportunities - To make the most of opportunities presented by the occasional offices, the church calendar & invitational events such as Back to Church Sunday. 3) Communication - To develop an understanding of communications in every parish, promoting a church that is visible, welcoming & accessible. 4) Children & Youth - To develop a spiritually-enriching children’s & youth ministry in every parish & church school, encouraging clustering where appropriate. 5) Basic Teaching - To ensure that a Christian Basics course of some kind is offered in every parish at least once a year. 6) Discipleship - To implement in every parish an appropriate strategy for making confident, prayerful disciples in their daily life. 7) Stewardship - To encourage an increasing number of worshipping Christians to take tithing seriously, & to give at least 5% of their income to the local church. 8) Partnerships & Community - To increase the range & spiritual fruitfulness of partnerships & community initiatives across the diocese.9) Leadership Training - To increase the number of leaders of all ages, & drawn from every ethnic group, who are trained & deployed in the church & wider community. 10) Other Faiths - To encourage every parish community to think through the challenges of relating constructively to those of other faiths.

Blackburn - Going for Growth (source = website and here – all as at 16/5/14.)
Vision: Growing in faith & prayer transforming communities in the power of the Holy Spirit
Growth Strategy: Going for Growth
there are 3 phases of work can be pictured as the layers of a cheesecake: 1) Growing in Holiness - represents the biscuit base on which everything else rests. Without that firm base of prayer & deepening discipleship everything else that we undertake in the life of the church will end up as a soggy mess! 2) Being Church Better - can be seen the actual cheesecake mix. It’s the main bit of the dessert &  represents the richness & fullness of being the body of Christ, 3) Come and See (moving from 'welcome' to 'invitation') - is the topping on top of the cheesecake the bit that whets your appetite and encourages you to tuck in. 
Note the website home page describes the 3 main areas as 1) Prayers & Holiness2) Attracting more Young Families3) Providing resources for Nurture Courses.  From the website it is not clear whether this main area language or the phase language above (also from the website) is what is currently in use.
Ingredients:  The ingredients that go to make up the Going for Growth ‘cheesecake recipe’ include Community EngagementParish DevelopmentMission Action PlanningLeading your Church into GrowthMission CompanionsIdeas & EventsInquirers’ course and Discipleship DevelopmentStewardship and Faith Sharing

Bristol - Releasing the Energy of the kingdom of God (source = website and here – all as at 17/5/14 .  Theology behind the strategy)
Vision: to see the Kingdom of God come in the part of the west of England we serve. (When the Kingdom of God draws near people sense a change: They notice friends, family members or colleagues living differently – in their integrity & generosity, compassion & service. The marginalised & poorer members of their community are being cared for. Faith & 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 & social injustice. And churches are not only attracting new members but gaining a reputation of meaning & purpose where all ages & kinds of people can come to know Jesus Christ as Lord)
Purpose: creating communities of wholeness with Christ at the centre. (Creating - 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 & initiatives but creativity within those with hundreds of years of heritage.  This will involve thinking in terms of fresh possibilities & risk taking, being focused & purposeful in our activity – & should also involve lots of vibrancy and fun!  communities - 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.  of wholeness - We believe that these communities must aspire to wholeness.  In whole communities, all are accepted & valued, everyone plays a part & 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 & authority, our resource & inspiration.  It is His presence in the world that will make the difference)
Primary Ways: there are 4 to create the conditions for releasing the energy of the kingdom of God.  1) Growth Programme - in commitment to God, in partnership with others, in influence on the wider community and in numbers. 2) Leadership Development - developing leaders in the church releases not only their energy but also that of the whole people of God.  3) Structures of oversight & support - a dedicated team will devote its attention to clearing the way for the Strategy.  The strategy can then be shaped & implemented by decisions made by those in deanery leadership.  4)  Income Generation - and seeking to reduce the proportion of parochial income as a whole that is given in Share to the Diocese.

Canterbury - living faith, building community, transforming lives (source = website and here – all as at 17/5/14)
Vision/Mission Encompassed by the statement: living faith, building community, transforming lives
Objectives:  1) To grow the church numerically & spiritually2) To re-imagine ministry3) To build partnerships that enrich communities
Frameworks: The structures of the diocese have been re-worked in order to facilitate the achievement of these objectives into five key ‘frameworks’ 1) Children, Schools & Young People2) Local Church Development, 3) Licensed Ministries4) Communities & Partnership5) Resource Management & Compliance  These frameworks replaced the traditional concept of Boards and Committees and represent a flexible way of working for the Diocese with communication & collaboration at its heart. Frameworks work together to support churches, schools & deaneries as they work towards the Diocese’s objectives.
Strategic Goals: 1) Children, Schools & Young People - i) To ensure that children & young people are at the heart of the Diocese's mission, ii) To ensure the effectiveness of Church of England schools in the diocese, iii) To maximise opportunities for the Diocese's involvement in education, iv) To support & develop quality RE & Collective worship in all schools, v) To offer a Christian vision for education & secure high quality Christian leadership  for Church of England Schools 2) Local Church Development - i) Engaging in strategic missional planning, ii) Growing the church through spirituality & discipleship, iii) Delivering training as a multiplier for mission & ministry  3) Licensed Ministries -  note I could not find its strategic goals but did find the following. The priority of Licensed Ministries is to 'Re-imagine Ministry'  It includes: i) Vocations to ordained ministry. ii) Reader ministry & training, iii) Training of Assistant Curates & Training Incumbents, iv) Oversight of clergy - terms of service, v) Ministerial Development Review (MDR), vi) Continuing Ministerial Development (CMD) 
4) Communities & Partnership - note I could not find its strategic goals but did find the following.  Our purpose is to empower parishes & deaneries to serve their communities by working in partnerships with others. We also support the work of the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC).  The Network has particular responsibility for: i) wider use of church buildings & parish halls, ii) rural & heritage issues, iii) specialist issues such as environment, fair trade, homelessness & food banks, iv) forging links with local authorities & secular organisations other denominations & faith groups, v) with other charitable organisations., 5) Resource Management & Compliance - i) Providing protection of the Diocese & component parishes in the areas of: finance, safeguarding, property, employment & reputation, ii) Working with parishes to think about the wider issues of stewardship using financial health-checks & working to develop business/mission plans, iii) Promoting & facilitating communication in its widest sense.

Carlisle - Discipleship - (source = website  - as at 19/5/14)
Mission: By God's grace to grow God's Kingdom in Cumbria
Vision: To see our Churches growing Disciples of all ages.
Marks of Discipleship: we are working at the 5 marks of Discipleship: 1) Maturity in faith - an adult Christian Basics course running annually in each Mission Cluster, a significant increase in per capita giving, every church member knowing and using his/her gifts in Christian service, steady growth in vocations (including Readers, Commissioned Lay Ministers, Ordinands), Discipleship training at various levels available to all 2) Expectant Prayer & Worship - an active prayer group meeting regularly in every community, a variety of worship styles within each Mission Cluster, a youth congregation in each Deanery, each benefice making the most of Special Occasions 3) Engagement with society - at least one social action project in every parish, a significant increase in church buildings equipped & used for multi-purpose service in the community, every congregation informed about & giving to at least one national & one international caring charity or project
a network of Urban & Rural Chaplains, support and encouragement for ministry at work in every benefice 4) Outreach (titled Evangelism elsewhere in the website) - a significant increase in Usual Sunday and Usual Weekly Attendance, a Mission Action Plan in each parish or benefice, at least one pioneer minister in each Deanery, an Evangelism Course run annually in each Mission Cluster or Deanery 5) Quality of relationships - Cumbria a designated Ecumenical area, small groups meeting in every benefice, regular social activities in every parish, trained Welcomers in each church

Chelmsford - Transforming Presence - (source = website - as at 19/5/14.  Theology behind the strategy)
Our Passion: is Jesus – Proclaiming & Living out God's love for all people
Our Aspiration: - To be a Transforming Presence in every Community, Open & welcoming to all, & serving all
Our Resources: Faithful people, Prayer & worship, Visionary leadership, Liberating gifts
Key Themes: there are four 1) Inhabiting the world distinctively - The Christian church is the Body of Christ in the world & each individual Christian a member of it, each called & equipped by God for ministry & service.  It therefore follows that every Christian has a ministry & that every Christian should live a distinctive life. The way we inhabit the world should be different 2) Evangelising effectively - our sharing in the ministry of Jesus to make God’s offer of reconciliation & new life available to everyone. In recent years we have re-discovered that for most people becoming a Christian is like a journey. This changes the way we approach evangelism. For the most part it will mean accompanying people on that journey. 3) Serving with accountability -  Is there a bottom line? Is there a set of ministries & activities that we should expect to find in every Christian community, whatever its context & circumstance, & about which we should hold ourselves accountable? Is there a rule of life for the local Christian community? Are there a set of ingredients that constitute a faithful, healthy Christian community? I believe it would be helpful for the diocese if we could agree on this.  4) Re-imagining Ministry - Here are some basic principles which, with our agreement, could form the basis of a more radical forward thinking look at the ministry of God’s church in our diocese – a) Ministry belongs to the whole people of God. Every person, because of their baptism, has a ministry. b) Ordained stipendiary ministers will be thinner on the ground in the future. We need to agree what figure we are working to, communicate that figure effectively to the deaneries, & then give each of them a target to work to.  c) These stipendiary priests will need to be more episcopal in the way they understand & express their ministry. d) For this to work, there also needs to be a huge flourishing of authorised lay ministry (especially youth & children’s workers, authorised preachers, catechists, pastors & evangelists) & ordained self-supporting ministry. And of course we already have many Readers.

Chester - Growth Action Planning where each church decides its priorities - (source = website - as at 22/5/14.)

Primary Aimof GAP (Growth Action Planning) is to help each church in the Diocese to focus on what God longs for it to be like in 5 years time. The church will then decide on its priorities in the coming year.  The aim of this is to ensure that each church uses its energy and talents wisely. It follows from this that the most important thing in GAP is to discern God’s calling for your church and this means that prayer is central to all that we do in GAP.
Episcopal Nudges: for 2014 the Bishops - having considered their regular parish visits & read each GAP return from the parishes & other info like the mission statistics provided by each parish & the Archdeacon’s Articles of Enquiry - have discerned 3 aspects of the life of the Diocese they see as vital for outreach & spiritual health:  1) Reaching new generations - How can our churches lower their age profile? 2) Growing disciples - Can each benefice have at least one course each year to encourage people to grow in discipleship?  3. An up-to-date and visually exciting website for each parish.
7 corporate disciplines:  to help grow the local church - 1) Listening to God - this 1st discipline is foundational to all the others, yet it is the very same one to which we are more than likely to give only the final dog-eared five percent of our time & energy rather than the first, fit & frisky ten percent it deserves & requires. 2) Defending & commending the faith - Mission cannot happen unless and until we step outside the safety of our church fellowships & engage with the occasionally-believing & sceptically questioning worlds we share with people from Monday to Saturday. 3) Seed-sowing - the habit & practice of sowing the seed of the gospel in the lives of those who have not yet heard its life-giving message. 4) Learning the faith - provision of input, time and space for our faith to ripen and our spiritual wisdom to grow muscle.  5) Growing the community of the church - the corporate charge for all of us to care for, support, encourage & serve each other. 6) Planting & forming new church communities - It’s the intentional setting apart of some members of the already-existing church to become a missional community among a sector of the local population with whom the already-existing church & its activities do not & will never have contact. It’s the deliberate stepping out into the 66% (2007 figures) of society which self-registers as de-churched & non-churched.  7) Daily mission -If we are members of the church which exists for God’s mission, the logic is that we are all missionaries. Not to far-flung countries of the world (unless God so calls us), but to the local mission field of our families, friends, neighbours & colleagues, our streets & lanes, our work & leisure places. Missionaries for the here& now, rather than the over there.

Each year from 2009 the GAP initiative is re-adjusted as necessary.

Chichester - the strategy will be launched on Pentecost weekend 2015 (source = website - as at 19/5/14)

"A weekend of prayer is planned to engage the whole diocesan family as we seek to discern God’s will for our life together.  The diocesan strategy for 2015-2020 will be launched on Pentecost weekend 2015 and we want to begin our time of consultation and reflection with a weekend of prayer. June 7 will be a day of prayer at various venues around the diocese. Liturgical resources will be provided for every church to include prayer for the strategy as part of their intercessions on Pentecost Sunday, June 8.  We hope many people will be able to spend some time on that day at one of the venues.  Most will be open for prayer from 9am to 6pm. The day will be divided into one-hour slots and churches will be encouraged to take responsibility for leading one of the slots."

Coventry - Worshipping God, Making new disciples, Transforming communities (source = website and this - as at 22/5/14)
Mission/Purpose: Worshipping God ...Making new disciples ...Transforming communities.
Primary Strategy: To foster growth and fulfil the threefold purpose the Diocesan Synod & Bishop's Council agreed to make its primary strategy the fostering of the development of the 8 Essential Quality Characteristics of healthy churches as identified by the Institute of Natural Church Development.
Essential Quality Characteristics: 1) Empowering Leadership - all leaders in the church intentionally seek to identify, train & empower other leaders, giving them responsibility for people & projects, & rejoicing when they do better than they do! 2) Gift-based ministr- helps people identify their particular & unique God-given passions, gifts, skills & personality which enables them to serve in a way that changes the world for the better 3) Passionate Spirituality - is prepared to suffer for the sake of others.  It is a spirituality that is authentic & real which hungers for God & has a vibrancy of faith 4) Functional Structures - are flexible, able to adapt & change as necessary to facilitate further growth.   All the structures of the church serve the mission & purpose of the church. 5) Inspiring Worship - is about quality rather than style.   It will be a high point of the week, & is so inspiring people will want to bring along people who do not have a Christian faith to experience it.  Visitors who come are able to enjoy the experience.  Inspiring worship helps us to meet with Jesus.  It provides space & opportunity for a mutual encounter with God Himself.  Inspiring worship is transformative ...people’s lives change for the better as a result! 6) Holistic Small Groups - any church group which is small, & & they behave like 'mini-church'.  In Holistic Small Groups closer relationships can be formed & the members engage in worship, prayer – for others & each other, pastoral support, ongoing discipleship, Bible application & outreach. 7) Need Oriented Outreach - is seen in people & Christian communities filled with the Holy Spirit involved in the messiest parts of the parish…. the people who are hurting the most, the poorest, the most isolated, the ones who need loving the most…etc. 8) Loving Relationships - are characterised by a fun, welcoming & forgiving atmosphere.  Healthy churches were shown to have a lot of laughter in them.   The church is welcoming, accessible & inclusive & reflects the wider community.  Forgiveness is the starting point of Christian faith for us all & is reflected in relationships that are loving, affirming & encouraging.

Derby - Christ's presence in every community (source = website - as at 23/5/14)
The strategy is for the Diocese & is not intended for local churches to take & implement. The majority of churches & some deaneries have a Mission Action Plan that they are working towards & this is their strategic plan. However there are elements of the diocesan strategy which parishes may wish to consider.
Vision: Christ’s presence in every community - to honour & celebrate that Christ is present in every community, whether we see it or not & that we need to seek ways to identify where Christ is working & how we can join in. Our Vision is that we are to be a growing, learning, healthy & outward facing diocese.  
Elements:  1) Growing - We want to grow in spiritual depth in numbers and our impact on the communities of Derbyshire.  2) Learning - We want to develop Christian discipleship, supporting schools and fostering vocations to lay & ordained ministry. 3) Healthy - We want to have collaborative and empowering leadership; and with structure of governance and financial management fit for purpose & reflecting best practice.  Our priority is to build on the new governance structures that were approved at the end of 2013. 4) Outward Facing - We want to serve the communities of Derbyshire, engaging in the world and building links with the World Church.
Priorities: The Diocese is currently working on 4 priorities. 1) Developing Our Deaneries2) Deploying our Ministers3) Deepening our Common Life4) Delivering more Effective Service.  Work on these priorities will continue over the next 5-6 years. Work is already underway on developing our deaneries & deploying our minsters whilst the remaining two need further development.

Durham - Working for all our communities - (source = website - as at 23/5/14)
Development Programme: Growing the Kingdom.  Priorities appear to have been set 2011 and then re-focussed and added to for 2012
2014 Priorities: to take the Diocese to 2020 1) Praying - We all pray daily & are growing spiritually.  2) Growing - We are arresting decline in church attendance & churches are growing. 3) Serving - Each congregation is serving its local community & in particular its most vulnerable members. 4) Giving - Income is increasing, we are demonstrating good stewardship of our resources & are financially sound.

Ely - Imagining the Future (source = website and this which includes some of the Theology behind this  - all as at 23/5/14)
The Bishops Presidential Address to the March 2014 Diocesan Synod says "I have called together a Task Group from the Bishop’s Council to work towards a strategy for the diocese in the years ahead, based on the vision. Just like Imagining the Future, it will come out for consultation locally when it is ready in draft form" (the article on the web page is titled October 2014 which is either a mistake or a sign of Ely's Dr Who like capabilities). 

The Imaging the Future document presented by Bishop Stephen says "What follows is definitely not a strategy document. It is describing what I see about us now and a vision of what we might become together. I have said repeatedly that the Kingdom of God is growing in our midst. We have confidence in the God who transforms lives and brings hope to individuals and communities. Strategies and policies will follow from our vision of God. God is in charge. So much of what we hope for is not set by structures or a long string of initiatives, but by culture and tone". 

Our vision says that God calls us to discover together his transforming presence in our lives & in every community. 
The 5 P's
- Our Purpose is to Radiate the Light and Love of Jesus - some subheadings are - Purposeful sharing of the light & love of Jesus, Purposeful Witness, Purposeful  Investment, Purposeful Partnership
- Our Passion is for God’s World - We can strive to be heavenly-minded and of earthly use  
- We are People Called to be Fully Alive as God’s Companions  - We should desire a character of friendship which makes us friends & companions with each other, and reveals our companionship with God. Our ministry should express not just a sense of community which is human, but the bonds of communion which is divine, the pure gift of sharing the life of the Trinity. Communion is God’s gift but we are the ones who can break it - a subheading is - People Engaged in Ministry
- We Live, Worship and Serve in Real Places - some subheadings are - Local Presence, Sustainable Presence, Use of Buildings, Adaptability of Church Buildings as Community Assets
- We need Plans to put our Purpose and Passion into effect and to get the best out of People -"Many of you will have seen my video about Mission Action Plans. I am making this conversation explicit because I want us to be making plans locally which respond to Christ’s invitation to join his movement towards all our neighbours"

Exeter - Mission Communities (source = website and the diocesan mission plan which also includes some of the Theology behind the plan – all as at 23/5/14)
Vision Statement: In fellowship with other Christians, we are committed to using the gifts God has given us in the service of His Kingdom. In joy & love we respond to God's grace through a commitment to:
- Regular prayer and worship
- Seeking to grow daily in Christ - Faithful witness to those around us
- Loving service wherever we may be
Through Christ we look to a new oneness with God, with each other & with the world in which we live.
Mission: “That every human community in Devon has a praying, worshipping & witnessing Christian presence, working to make disciples of Jesus Christ & to bring that community’s life into the kingdom of God; & that everyone has the opportunity to engage with the fullness of the Church’s life locally” 
Priorities: - for Mission Communities - 1) Evangelism - Draw people of all ages & from all walks of life into fellowship in Christ.  2) Discipleship - Develop & deepen discipleship. 3) Vocations - Encourage, discern & nurture vocations. 4) Ministry & Lay Leadership - Develop leaders & leadership skills in a wide range of roles & establish effective Ministry Teams.  5) The Local Community - Work within the wider local community.  6) Stewardship of Finance & Buildings -  Sustain & grow the resources needed for mission & ministry7) Structure - Create an effective Mission Community for each local community in the Diocese 

Europe - Living the Trinity - (source ='s this website plus their Handbook  & the item linked to below – all as at 23/5/14)

I could find no explicit strategy - the Living the Trinity phrase is taken from this 2013 Diocesan Synod Digest and there is this text after it "At the end of the Gospel of Matthew Jesus gives the great commission to his disciples: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. To baptise means literally to drench or to drown – and so our lives as Christians are to be drenched in the life of God, in his self-giving love shown in Christ, which comes down to the lowest part of our need, and to know our hearts flooded by the love of God through the Holy Spirit given to us. Without this life and grace we are a mere organisation; with this we are truly alive as the Body of Christ". 

From the handbook are these 2 statements

"We understand our responsibility as being to minister and engage in mission in partnership with other Churches, especially the historic Churches of the countries in which we serve".

"It is the policy of the Diocese to work to resolve any problems created by overlapping jurisdictions, to maximise the opportunities for collaboration, and to increase the degree of common life between our member congregations and congregations of these Churches."

Other parts of the website mention the 5 marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion.
·        To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
·        To teach, baptise and nurture new believers
·        To respond to human need by loving service
·        To seek to transform unjust structures of society
·        To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

Gloucester - Journeying Together - (source = website - as at 23/5/14)
Mission: Sharing the transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ with people in & around Gloucestershire
Purpose: The Diocese of Gloucester seeks under God to be a resilient, dynamic & transforming gospel presence in & around Gloucestershire, empowering people & communities to lead authentic & faithful lives in a rapidly changing world.
Paths: To fulfil our purpose we journey on four different paths that seek to build a Diocese that - 1) Worships together - Through Scripture, prayer & sacrament, With accessible services that lift hearts to heaven, By embracing variety of worship in every place. By celebrating the pastoral offices with sensitivity & confidence 2) Shares our Christian faith & values - Through culturally appropriate evangelism across all ages, By enabling everyone to grow in their faith, discipleship, vocation & ministry.  Through mutual support of one another spiritually & materially.  By engaging with families & schools & by developing church schools as partners in mission. 3) Provides a visible presence in every community & parish - By witnessing to God’s love through identifiable people & buildings.  By offering welcome, hospitality & pastoral care to all.  Through growing existing congregations & planting new ones. By ensuring our buildings are well ordered & in good repair, fit for the widest possible use. 4) Serves the wider world - Through prophetic engagement with the diversity & inequality within our communities. Through the use of physical, spiritual & human resources to tackle poverty & injustice in the Diocese & beyond.  Through working for the integrity of creation.  Through experience of our local, ecumenical & international partnerships

Guildford - Growing Communities of Faith & Engagement - (source = website and this - all as at 23/5/14)
Mission Statement: Our Common Purpose Growing Communities of Faith & Engagement
Themes: 1) Spiritual maturity - resisting superficial & simplistic Christianity in our secularised culture, creating an ethos of commitment to worship, prayer & learning, both corporately & individually, in our churches & our schools. Encouraging lifelong discipleship & attractive, godly living.  2) Numerical growth - Resisting talk of decline as inevitable.  Creating an ethos of expectation of new things because nothing is impossible with God. Encouraging all people to hear & respond to the Gospel of salvation. 3) Community engagement - Resisting isolation & inward looking, self-preserving attitudes. Creating an ethos of involvement that seeks to serve the world God has made and loves.  Encouraging a practical concern for justice, right living and respect for all in our wider communities.

"This is what I believe Church is about, & where I see our focus in the Diocese of Guildford. We will work & pray to see this spiritual maturity, numerical growth & community engagement in every part of the Diocese (parish, fresh expression, chaplaincy and cathedral). All the ministries, structures &  departments of the Diocese must also serve this vision".

Hereford Diocese - Showing Jesus Christ to those around us (source = website and the strategic plan document and this 2015 Report and this page - all as at 28/5/14)
Mission Statement - The Diocese of Hereford - Seeks to share God's Love in Community & world (this 1st part of this sentence plus the last sentence one of this Mission Statement starting "So that" is also described as the Vision Statement) through: 

- Worshipping God & praying for His help & guidance
- Caring & serving people in all life's situations
- Recognising & responding to the needs of our communities
- Inspiring & learning through each others strengths & gifts
(these 4 points are also described as the Policy Statement)

So that in all our activities we show Jesus Christ to those around us

Goals & Actions:  
Bishop Anthony to all Licensed Clergy, Readers & Members of the Bishop's Council in November 2010: "To help prepare the Diocese for the vital work of mission as we move to 2015 & beyond I have reviewed, in conjunction with Bishop's Council, the Vision Statement drafted in 2005, the five priorities set in 2007 (see the Strategic Areas below) & the nine Aims (I could not find these) established in 2009.  In the light of those statements & aims we revisited the priorities & concluded that there are two areas on which we especially need to focus more strongly & more clearly."

1) Growing in our personal relationship with Christ 
- includes the deepening of our prayer life, spirituality & all aspects of our life in Christ. It is also connected with our desire to see a growth in discipleship & indeed for those who begin as "church-goers" to discover the importance of being disciples. Similarly, for visitors to our churches to become pilgrims. 

2) Strengthening our confidence to live and express it 
- our second major strand is intimately linked with & flows from the first, namely our relationship with Christ. This second goal is expressed in our Vision Statement about doing things "so that in all our activities" we grow in confidence in sharing God's love, "showing Jesus Christ to those around us". Furthermore, of course, the deeper we go into God's love the more we want to share that love & live it out more fully. Also, the more we share that love, the more that takes us back to growing deeper in discipleship.

We also affirm the importance of the Five Marks of Mission (See the Europe Diocese text for what these are) & our understanding that they express, in an extremely helpful & comprehensive way, the breadth of our life together: they provide a lens through which we can look at our goals, actions & other work.

Strategic Areas - All strategic areas continue to be key to the outworking of our Policy, But we recognise the need to focus more energy especially on:

Local Ministry
Deanery / Parish Communications

- Shaped by God - (source = website and this document which also covers some of the theology behind this - all as at 28/5/14) 
Mission Agenda 

9 Marks of Mission 1) lives & communities transformedthrough the Good News of Jesus Christ;  2) worship in a way that renews & inspiresechoing the praise of heaven;  3) self-giving service to the communitybecause the Church is called to be local & outward looking;  4) being rooted in prayerbecause prayer is part of our loving response to the needs of the world;  5) confident & sensitive evangelismresponding to Jesus’ call to share our faith in word & deed;  6) lifelong Christian nurture , because our mission overflows from our own discipleship;  7) the welcome of newcomers , helping those who come close to the church to feel welcomed & cherished by God;  8) becoming child friendlyfollowing our Lord’s example of putting children at a central place in His ministry;
9) celebration of people & placesbecause godly celebration is at the heart of the gospel.

Mission Partnerships - Some see their role as being to engage in mission together. Others, often because of a more geographically dispersed area, see their role not as doing mission together, but as resourcing mission together (for example, supporting & training leaders for churches separate evangelism courses, or together hosting a course on how individual churches might build on the welcome they offer to newcomers).

The role of a Mission Partnership is not to ape existing structures (either Churches Together or the Deanery), nor to create a ‘super congregation’ or make it easier to amalgamate congregations. The aim is to strengthen the local church in being ever more effective in mission (as defined in the nine marks of mission in the initial Shaped by God envisioning report). There are 3 metaphors which some Mission Partnerships have found helpful in discerning how they understand their calling are:

1. Catalyst - A catalyst gets something going, and is essential to that process. But then, at the appropriate time, fades away into the background. It speeds the reaction, but is not itself consumed in the reaction (although may degrade a little, so important it is sustained and added to). It may participate in multiple chemical transformations. In many ways it is similar to the architect of a house – essential to the building but doesn’t move into the home.

2. Conductor - A conductor sees both the whole score and individual notes. S/he is well aware and understands each instrumentalist, but normally can’t play the instrument as well as the principal instrumentalist. They are not needed the whole time, but are there to ensure harmony. Lots of working behind the scenes often means that at the key moment, their role appears almost to blend away.

3. Promoter - Think of a sporting or music promoter. Similar to above, they are not the sportsperson or musician themselves, but they see the need for something (either from ‘consumers’ or the sportspeople/musicians themselves) and make it happen. They bring the key parties together, often pump prime the finance and bring in additional resources and expertise as needed. 

Lichfield - Going for Growth - (source = website - all as at 28/5/14)
Our Mission
5 Themes
1) Discovering the Heart of God - The Rule of Life Prayer Card and new Community of St Chad are two initiatives designed to revive our worship and prayer life
2) Growing Disciples - As we look ahead to a changed church by 2020 it is clear that in many places our lay people are a largely unused resource. For over 40 years we have emphasized the calling of all the baptized to be the Church. Ever since the Tiller report we have spoken of moving from a static view of church, as a priest with a congregation and a beautiful building, to a dynamic view of a group of Christians being trained for the Kingdom and building a loving community.
3) Reaching New Generation- One of my deepest wishes is to bring more children and young people into our churches and to a living faith; and I have asked for a new youth strategy to be developed this year.
4) Transforming Communities We are making new, exciting connections between the world of work and our faith and to address the global need for a more moral market.
5) Practising Generosity - God has given us more than enough resources to be his Church—and these resources are in our bank accounts!

Lincoln - Faithful, Confident, Joyful- (source = this report and this summary of synod business - all as at 28/5/14)
Vision & Direction - Faithful, Confident, Joyful.
Mission Statement - To respond to the love of God as faithful worshipping communities & as confident disciples of Jesus Christ, joyfully serving & witnessing to him in the world through the power of the Holy Spirit

Liverpool - Growing in Christ - (source = this Growing in Christ document - all as at 28/5/14)
Vision - to be a place where there is a sustainable, led & transforming Christian presence in every community encouraging all people to act justly, love mercy & walk humbly with God. 
Actions - 1) A growing numerical base - Aim to see an increase in numbers & reduction in the average age of adult AWA.  Measurement = Average weekly attendance (AWA) - adults & children; Average age of adult AWA; Number of people involved in fresh expressions – adults & children  2) A growing leadership base - Aim to see an increase in numbers & a re-emergence of younger vocations. Measurement = A growing giving base, A growing educational (schools) base, Sustainable diocesan & parish finances  3) A growing giving base - Aim to see an increase in both the overall giving total & number of planned givers. Measurement = Number of planned givers, Level of planned giving per person per week  4) A growing educational (schools) base - Aim to see an increase in the proportion of children educated in church schools & movement towards the 90% target for good/outstanding schools.  Measurement = Proportion of children education in C of E schools, Percentage of category 1 & 2 (outstanding and good) schools, 
5) Sustainable diocesan & parish finances - Measurement = DBF - Performance against breakeven budgets, Parish Share collection rate, Income from parochial fees, Available housing for sale & reinvestment, Investment levels/returns, Size of Mission Opportunities Fund, Performance against reserves target (minimum of 4 months free reserves).  Parishes - Parish Share as a proportion of planned giving, Building costs, Legacy income, Level of free reserves
Measurement - - Data will be published at 2 levels – annual diocesan-wide data (& broken down deanery by deanery) & bespoke parish dashboards

London - Christ-centred & outward looking - (source = website - all as at 28/5/14)
Vision - We share a vision of a Church for London that is Christ-centred & outward looking. We seek to be more confident in speaking & living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, more compassionate in serving communities with the love of God the Father & more creative in reaching new people & places in the power of the Spirit.

Capital Vision 2020 is our collective vision for the next seven years, which emerged from conversations with nearly 2,000 people. It was adopted by synod in March 2013 & launched in front of 2,000 people at St Paul's Cathedral in June 2013. Capital Vision comprises three major themes, with ten specific areas in which we plan to be more purposeful & imaginative.

a) Confident in speaking & living the Gospel of Jesus Christ - We will be more confident in speaking & living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To enable this we will by 2020:
1) Communicate the Gospel more effectively, using the opportunities offered by new media
2) Equip & commission 100,000 ambassadors representing Jesus Christ in daily life 
3) Invest in leadership & increase the number of ordinands by 50% 

b) Compassionate in serving communities with the love of God the Father - We will be more compassionate in serving communities with the love of God the Father. To enable this we will by 2020: 
4) Enable new initiatives to fight poverty, inequality & injustice in London & worldwide, including our joint venture with the Church Urban Fund 
5) Open up our church buildings to the wider community
6) Strengthen links between schools & their local Christian community 

c) Creative in reaching new people & places with the Good News in the power of the Spirit - We will be more creative in reaching new people & places with the Good News in the power of the Spirit. To enable this we will by 2020:
7) Double the number of young people involved in local Christian community
8) Create or renew 100 worshipping communities
9) Engage more closely with sport & the creative arts
10) Each pray for at least seven people that we may share with them the story of our faith

Manchester - Run the race, look to Jesus - (source = website and this vision document and this bishop profile document  - all as at 28/5/14)
Our Vision - We Run with Perseverance the race that is set before us… with our eyes fixed on Jesus also described as Run the race…look to Jesus; & pass on His Faith, Hope & Love

The “Run the Race” vision was inspired by the sight of the commonwealth games baton being handed from runner to runner on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002. To Manchester’s incoming Bishop, it was a powerful symbol to encourage every Christian in every church to respond to God's call to pass on the baton of the gospel. 
Our Values - Pass on the baton of Faith, Hope & Love.
Our Mission Goals Growing congregations - growing spiritually, growing younger, growing numerically, growing ministry, growing teaching, growing mission Increasing giving - increasing vocations, increasing giving financially & in other ways, increasing giving up things treasured that are blocking the gospel Serving the community - bridging gaps between church & wider community agendas, prophetically speaking up for justice, pastorally supporting the vulnerable, deprived & excluded

Newcastle - Generous, Engaged & Open (source = website and this 2010 document - all as at 3/6/14
Mission Statement - The Diocese of Newcastle is part of the Universal Church & seeks to equip Christian individuals & communities in every area to wait upon God, & to proclaim & live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The marks of the Church will be:
- worship, evangelism & service present in each community
- commitment to learning & growth in discipleship
- connections made between faith & everyday life
- willingness to work in partnership with others
- listening to one another & honouring the diversity of Christian traditions
- giving & receiving beyond itself across parish, deanery & diocesan & denominational boundaries, nationally & internationally
- showing more concern for the reign of God in the world than for its own preservation

It assumes an organic rather hierarchical model of the church, in which the Bishop’s leadership holds the framework together so that the diverse life within it can flourish, & in which he listens to what is being said & articulates the vision which under the Holy Spirit he senses is emerging.
Simple Goal - Generous, Engaged, Open - sustaining local christian presence
Keynote qualities - of our diocesan priorities - Generous, Engaged & Open - in the way in which we follow Christ  & the manner in which we invite others to join our pilgrimage of faith.- to pursue Bold Evangelism, to provide Useful Buildings, to Develop Disciples, to encourage Lively Worship, to promote Vocations, & to draw in Young People.
5 challenges 1) How can we keep before us a vision of God that will empower & nspire people in their everyday lives to answer the question ‘Who is Jesus Christ for us today?’ 2) How can we be a Church confident of its place in the public arenaunafraid to listen, debate & speak out? 3) How can we grow & develop more disciples? 4) How can we provide imaginative & good quality leadership, lay & clerical, to realise possibilities & fulfil our mission? 5) How can we nourish a viable model of church & devise the means to renew & sustain parish ministry?
 In trying to meet these challenges & plan for our future, the Diocesan Synod has embarked on a process that sees us living with lighter structures, encouraging greater participation, working with partners, learning together, & trying to discern a way forward in which we can ensure “a vibrant, authentic & sustaining Christian presence in every community in the diocese.”

Norwich - Serving & supporting people, churches & schools AND/OR Committed to Growth - (source = website and this mission page - all as at 3/6/14)
Mission - Committed to Growth - The Diocese of Norwich is committed to Growth in discipleship, service & numbers. The Bishop of Norwich writes: "I invite everyone to share in our Diocesan commitment to growth". In practice this means:
- our growth as disciples of Jesus Christ
- growth in the number of people worshipping God & learning to be Christ's disciples (through evangelism) 
- our growth in service to God & our neighbours
This is the mission to which we believe God is calling our Diocese.

Oxford - Living Faith - (source = website and this Living Faith page  - all as at 3/6/14)

Vision - Living Faith - the transformation of all human life under God.
Values - 1) Contemplative: attentive to God. ‘Devote yourselves to prayer...’ (Colossians 4.2)   2) Creative: imaginatively releasing & harnessing all the gifts of all God’s people. ‘We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us...’ (Romans 12.6) 3)   3) Continuous: rooted in scripture, faithful to the traditions we have received & seeking to give them fresh expression. ‘For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you...’(1 Corinthians 11.23) 4) Accountable: to God & to each other as we build for tomorrow as well as today. ‘Give to God the things that are God’s...’ (Luke 20.25) 
Purpose - to join with God in creating a caring, sustainable & growing Christian presence in every part of the Diocese of Oxford, enabling every Christian & every Christian community to live & share the love of God, seen in the life of Jesus Christ.
Priorities -  Initially there were 5 priorities with one being concentrated on each year from 2010 to 2014 This is not intended to be to the exclusion of the others, but just to help focus our thinking & some of the resources we are offering.  2010 – Sustaining the Sacred Centre - This is about encouraging & enabling clergy & lay people to deepen their enjoyment of God, & to recognize God’s presence in everyday life.  2011 – Making Disciples - is about the core task left to us by Jesus. It usually takes the form of accompanying people on a journey to faith by the intentional use of nurture courses, mentoring, the catechumenate (an ancient approach to accompanied journeying), or simple friendship.    2012 – Making a Difference in the World - recognising that in a holistic understanding of God’s action in the world, there is no mission without social justice; that social justice & prophetic witness cannot be put in a box as a specialism or an extra, but is at the heart of the calling.   2013 – Creating Vibrant Christian Communities - shaping ‘communities of grace’ which exhibit the character of Jesus. Such attractive communities are genuinely hospitable, deeply engaged with their communities, & passionate about God.  2014 - Shaping confident, collaborative leadership - developing leadership using all the resources available to the local church. It would involve consolidation in some parishes & new work in others to build up shared ministry in teams, with appropriate training & support. 
Central Strands - holistic mission sustaining spirituality.

Peterborough - Growth Action Plans - (source = this page of the website with summaries of the diocesan synod and this letter from the bishop - all as at 3/6/14)
Strategy/Vision We believe in church growth. All our senior staff saw growth in their earlier parish ministries, & it is our expectation for every healthy church. Rather than a detailed diocesan strategy we are working in terms of a vision for each parish or benefice to develop & own a growth action plan. Interdependency & a shared belonging & commitment to mission are important, but each local unit should have its own aspiration to being a growing, viable, missional, serving & worshipping community. 
Diocesan Culture with a particular focus on the expectations of clergy New beginnings—new challenges 1) working for the growth of the church in numbers, depth, discipleship, influence & effectiveness - so clergy share with the Bishop in the cure of souls & to work strategically for growth in numbers among the worshipping community 2) to teach Christian discipleship including the principles of giving 3) to be involved in deanery & diocesan activities & in the life of the local community 4) to be involved in both church & other local schools as far as possible, actively seeking opportunities for mission & preferably offering a chaplaincy role & leading collective worship rather than chairing the governing body 5) to take part in the diocesan ministry review process which involves an annual consultant assisted review & a three-yearly senior staff review 6) to engage with the continuing ministerial development programme offered by the diocese & in personal study, nurturing your own spirituality 7) to undergo safeguarding training as required by the bishop & to follow & promote the diocesan safeguarding policy.

Portsmouth - Ministry for Mission - (source = website - as at 3/6/14)
Ministry for Mission is a framework, a way of thinking, a response to God's calling that we can all join.  It's to do with Mission (God's activity in the world) &  Ministry (us co-operating with God in that mission).  Ministry for Mission is our way of ensuring that the churches are equipped to grow & to serve the communities in which they are placed.  We believe that God calls the church to reach out beyond its own boundaries in mission, & experience shows that churches that can do this are healthy churches that will grow. We are committed to reshaping the way we work together to make this a reality in our diocese. 
Core Themes we should structure the life of the Church:  1) to enable everyone to hear & experience the transforming power of the gospelwhich leads to spiritual & numerical growth.  2) to recognise that all baptised Christians have gifts & a vocationWe are all ministers & we can all offer ministry. 3) to affirm that all ministry is collaborative& we should work together, clergy & ay people, across parish boundaries & with ecumenical partners.
4  key areas for strategic development are: 1) Called for Growth (vocation) - programmes of spiritual development for individuals & congregations, & support for the discerning of vocations aim to help us perceive God’s calling in others.  2) Trained for Growth (training & development) - a single continuum of training for all those involved in Christian ministry will be delivered at local level. There will be emphasis on training & equipping of leaders.  3) Structured for Growth (deployment) - our models of the Church will promote collaborative ministry, in groups, clusters & teams, to help us understand our discipleship as a 24/7 reality. We will aim for our diocesan structures to become more flexible to encourage growth.  4) Supported in Growth (mission support) - a ‘vitality audit’ of parishes or churches will focus on potential for development and growth, alongside faithfulness. These will ask challenging questions, but also help find the resources to secure appropriate ministry in that area. 
Tools & Enablers - Mission Action Planning (MAP) - a simple tool to help churches or parishes focus on specific, achievable ways of developing their outreach to their community.  Mission Opportunities Fund - which allows parishes & groups of parishes to fund initiatives that echo the Ministry for Mission themes
Note.  The previous strategy was Kairos which you can find out more about via this page on Kairos

Rochester - Vision & Strategy is under review - (source = see below - all as at 3/6/14)
Diocesan Vision and Strategy the website page with this heading says - The Bishop of Rochester is currently reviewing the Diocesan Vision & Strategy.  Please check back here soon.  The sites search facility suggests this is from August 2011

Another of the website's pages says - Each of the seventeen deaneries in the Diocese of Rochester has now produced a Mission & Ministry Plan, with the support of the Director of Mission & Community Engagement.  Second stage plans are now being developed.  It is hoped that co-operation across parishes will enable effective engagement with local communities & networks. Local knowledge can also inform & guide decisions about future appointments.

St. Albans - Living God's Love - (source = website - as at 3/6/14)
Vision - Living God’s Love - is an invitation... to those belonging to the Diocese of St Albans to walk together on a journey, & on that journey to look with fresh eyes & explore new ways of life & mission, & in that seeing to discover new things about God, ourselves & the world.  However ...Living God's Love is not an invitation alone - 

it is a call to do new things,
it's a call to action.
Let us describe it as a 'journey'.

3 reflections can be downloaded on these

The Journey - 
The Living God's Love journey has three strands, not separate journeys, not three options from which to take our pick, rather a single journey into the love of God for us & for his world: the strands are:- 1) Going Deeper into God; 2) Transforming Communities3) Making New Disciples.  It's a journey worth travelling & a journey worth exploring.
'The Challenge' - takes place each year in Advent & in Lent.  People can sign up to this & then receive, each day by email or text - a verse from the bible, a brief introduction, a thought for reflection, a challenge to act

St. Edmundsbury & Ipswich - Growing in God - (source = this presentation - as at 3/6/14)
Our Mission God's Vision ... for growth in our diocese
Growing in God - 1) Growing in Depth – a call to radical discipleship, responding to the call of Christ in every part of our lives 2) Growing in Number – a call to intentional evangelism, drawing the contacts we have into the life of God’s kingdom 3) Growing in Influence – a call to bold action, reaching beyond ourselves in our impact on the wider world. 4) Growing Younger – a call to pass on a legacy of faith, building churches whose age-range reflects our communities.

Salisbury Confident in faith & growing (source = website - all as at 3/6/14)
Vision & Purpose 
This Diocese is committed to collaborative working & to developing the ministry of all the baptised.
The Vision has been for a Church changed & revitalised to meet the great challenges of the 21st century; a Church confident in faith & growing in local communities.
3 key strategies underline this vision:  1) To adopt the five marks of mission of the Anglican Communion as the underlying themes of our work;  2) To commit to be a learning & teaching Church for all believers;  3) To work with a vision of developing a body of ministers, lay and ordained, stipended & voluntary, parish-based & engaged in fresh expressions of church, & deployed in response to the mission & ministry needs of our whole communities.

Sheffield - Growing the Body of Christ - (source = website - as at 3/6/14)
Vision Statement - the diocese of Sheffield is called to grow a sustainable network of Christ-like, lively & diverse Christian communities in every place which are effective in making disciples & in seeking to transform our society & God’s world.
3 growth strategy themes 1) Salt and Light - is about how we seek to transform our society & God’s world. 2) Re-imagining Ministry - is about how we develop sustainable patterns of lay & ordained ministry to serve & lead God’s people.  3) Growing the Body of Christ - is about how we grow a network of Christ like, lively & diverse Christian communities 

Sodor & Man - under discussion (source = website - as at 3/6/14)

Southwark - Faith, Hope, Love (source = website - as at 3/6/14)
Bishop's call to Mission - Faith, Hope, Love - which lie at the heart of our lives as witnesses to Jesus Christ, our Lord & Saviour. Faith - is a gift not looked for but freely given by God. Our common faith in Christ, crucified & risen, invites us to discipleship & encourages us to share this Good News with others. Hope - we have been given an imperishable hope that will not disappoint us. In anxious times we hope for change & renewal for ourselves & our communities as we grow into God’s Kingdom.   Love - we love, because God first loved us. Love is the greatest of gifts & the instrument of healing in a world of sin, loneliness & division. We try to give & receive true love in all our relationships with those around us.
Phases - Phase 1 - Faith, Hope & Love was launched, & it was suggested people set aside some time regularly during Lent to reflect on some suggested questions under each of the 3 headings & to look at some of the suggested resources. They were also encouraged to use a response card to focus on some personal action to take in their Christian journey. Phase 2 resources were designed to help each faith community to consider together…‘How are Faith, Hope, Love expressed in the life of the parish, school & chaplaincy?  Phase 3 - Deanery Synods & Chapters were invited to reflect on the ways in which their communities of parishes, schools, chaplaincies & religious communities can express Faith, Hope, Love together. So it was an opportunity to think more strategically about the Deanery’s mission & ministry in areas such as youth work, community action, evangelism, ecumenism or in engagement with other faiths.

Southwell & Nottingham - Living Worship, Growing Disciples & Seeking Justice - (source = website - as at 3/6/14)
Vision Strategy - Joining together in the Transforming Mission of God - This is the vision strategy for churches groups & individuals as we join together to be part of God’s transforming work in our churches, communities & the world.  Based around Bible verses from the book of Isaiah – some of the spirit of it can be summed up by this particular verse. “…he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour..” Isaiah 61:1 
3 Strands - We aim to do this by engaging with three practical strands: 1) Living Worship – giving God the glory & honour in our life together & out in the world, 2) Growing Disciples – seeing more people become followers of Jesus & Jesus’ followers more humbly confident in their faith, 3) Seeking Justice – working for a fairer world for everyone both locally & globally, marked by God’s justice.
4 Values - discerning God, valuing people, serving community, enabling change - which continue to underpin all we do, link us together

Truro - Discovering God’s Kingdom & Growing the Church - (source = website and this document - all as at 3/6/14)
Overarching Vision - Discovering God’s Kingdom & Growing the Church.
3 strategic initiatives (‘strands’) 
 - that we need to give priority – alongside the important daily work we all undertake in this direction – in order to accelerate the necessary changes in the shape of mission & ministry in our diocese.  The three strands, collectively called Our Vision are: 1) Discipleship (e.g. Way of Life) - Helping people realise being part of the Christian church is about being a disciple of Jesus Christ, not simply helping the vicar,  Enable & empower the laity to understand themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ  & that each & everyone has a part to play in the Body of Christ.  We will put resources in place (such as Way of Life) to encourage everyone in the diocese to take their discipleship seriously 2) Accompanied Ministry Development (AMD) - The clergy, especially stipendiary clergy, play a crucial role in the church.  We need to ensure that we give enough time & resource to enable them to: • reflect on what God is calling them to do, • review how their distinctive gifts & contributions can develop, • consider their style of leadership, their self-understanding in ministry & the resources they will need to shape the church of the future.  The leadership development programme will invite clergy to spend time away with 5 or 6 other clergy, to: • Pray together, • Learn together, • Spend time on personalised learning about their own model of ministry,.  • We will invest more time & resource to support, train & equip lay people. During this time parishes will also be assisted in their learning & self-development & reflection 3) Doing Church Differently (the Bishop’s Den) - This is a scheme to encourage groups of parishes & benefices, perhaps deaneries, to consider how they might do church differently • Funding will be available for a few pilots to experiment & try out new ways of working, • Bids for funding will be presented in the Bishop’s Den in February 2014 

To ensure we can fulfil these initiatives, we have put in place a Transformation Fund to resource the work. 

West Yorkshire & the Dales As a new diocese created in Easter 2014 there isn't one yet - (source = website -  as at 3/6/14)

Winchester - Living the Mission of Jesus - (source = website and this document and the resources on this page and this on the Rule of Life - all as at 3/6/14)
Strategic Priorities - Under God, delighting in His grace & rooted in the Diocesan rule of life, we will be a Diocese in which:  1) We grow authentic disciplesgoing out as individuals passionately, confidently & courageously sharing their faith, & coming together as creative church communities of prayer & worship that live out Kingdom values. 2) We re-imagine the Church intentionally connecting & engaging with our local communities in culturally relevant ways. We will rejoice in the richness of the “mixed economy” of all ministry & proactively promote vibrant parochial & breathtaking pioneering ministries amongst ‘missing’ generations, eg children, young people, under 35s.  3) We are agents of social transformation using our influence as a Diocese to transform public & personal life. We will demonstrate loving faith at work in local communities & across the globe bringing healing, restoration & reconciliation, e.g. through education, social enterprise, health care, spiritual care teams. 4) We belong together in Christ, practicing sacrificial living & good stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us. We will combine radical generosity, care & capacity building with a clear focus on directing finance into the mission of Jesus. Sharing & multiplying local good practice, using people, buildings & other resources wisely, we will seek to boldly prune, plant & invest in building for the Kingdom.
Diocesan Rule of Life - the Lent Course (201514) will begin to touch on what a Diocesan Rule of Life rooted in our Benedictine tradition might look like.

Angi Nutt@Revdangi
@ramtopsrac @uinp @Clairemaxim1@c_of_e yes Lent 2014 intro'd the 4SPs. Deanery MAPping current. Parish MAPs from Advent14. Rule Lent 15
02:32 PM - 02 Jul 14

Worcester - Love, compassion, justice & freedom - (source = website and this on the priorities - all as at 3/6/14)
Kingdom values - Love, compassion, justice & freedom. These are the values that will bring about the kingdom of God on Earth.  As part of the 2020 Vision Group, set up by the Bishop's Council to discern what God's vision is for the diocese, we launched Kingdom People in 2011. Kingdom People is an initiative to aid churches in living out the Gospel in practical, meaningful ways - making an impact on the world around them.
8 priorities - As we look forward to the next decade, as Kingdom People our vision is for a Church which more fully enables its people to be: 1) Deeply rooted in prayer & study of the scriptures - We are made for relationship with God in Jesus. Deepening that relationship is our first priority. This happens through prayer & study of God’s Word. It is in God’s power, not our own, that we seek to be instruments of his Kingdom.  We seek to remain always connected to Jesus, the true vine, in prayer & study of the Bible for without him we can do nothing. 2) Renewed & transformed by regular worship - Prayer needs to be not only individual but corporate. From the very beginning Christians met together on the first day of the week for the breaking of the bread & to pray. Our church communities are schools of virtue in which we seek God’s grace & encourage one another in faith, hope & love.  Our relationship with the true vine is nurtured by regular & frequent receiving of communion & offering praise together. 3) Equipped to witness to Christ in our everyday life - Jesus commanded his followers to go and make disciples of all the nations. Our faith is all important to us & we want to share with others the good news of God’s healing & forgiving power.  Realising that we do not need to be great theologians to describe to others what God has done in our lives, we are bold to speak. There is nothing more powerful than personal testimony. 4) Dedicated to helping children, young people & young adults to belong & be nurtured in faith - Children & young people are not only the Church of tomorrow they are the Church of today. Jesus showed preferential consideration for children & we want to do the same. We recognise that if we do not do so, not only will the future of our Church be in doubt, it will be impoverished in the present.  We know that we have much to learn from children & young people in our parishes & schools as well as much to offer to them.  5) Devoted to growing deeply as disciples, offering our time, talents & money to God - Conversion is not a one-off but a continuous process for each of us. We want to experience the abundance of life which God yearns to give us in Jesus & share that life with others, & so we continually turn to God. We know that becoming a disciple is a lifetime’s task as we share ever more fully in his will for us.  It happens through both grace & discipline. As well as our commitment to the life of prayer, to study of the scriptures & to receiving the sacrament in public worship described above it, we are resolved to give our time, talents & money sacrificially for God’s work.  6) Resourced & released to minister to othersWhen Jesus proclaimed at the beginning of his ministry that the Kingdom of God is at hand he did not expect his listeners to sit about & wait for it to appear. He wanted them to embody it.  As we grow as disciples we do all we can to discern the way in which God is calling us to use our gifts to witness & minister in Christ’s name. We then seek his power to do so. There is no more fulfilling way to spend our lives.  7) Ready to engage with and serve our community - Healthy churches combine vibrant worship with service to their communities. In other words, they take both the first & the second great commandments of Jesus seriously by endeavouring to love both God and neighbour. As Christians, we strive to show God’s love to others in our communities by meeting their needs. This is both by individual acts of kindness & by organising ourselves to deliver care. It sometimes involves campaigning as well as charity.  8) Committed to making our buildings fit for purpose as a spiritual & community resource - Our church buildings are sometimes seen as a burden. In fact, if they are made fit for purpose, they are a wonderful blessing both to worshipping communities & wider society.  Too many churches are locked for all but a couple of hours a week when they could be a vital spiritual & community resource. We should seek to do all in our power to enable them to be used to their full potential.

York - Generous Churches Making & Nurturing Disciples - (source = website - as at 3/6/14)
Vision - Generous Churches Making & Nurturing Disciples 
5 marks of growth - Coming out of the consultations & the reflections of the small working party was the desire to focus on growing. It was recognised that growing is multi-dimensional & Five Marks of Growing were identified as part of our shared mission to build up the Body of Christ:  1) Christ-likeness - Becoming like Christ is the fundamental call of Christian discipleship. It is not always easy to assess, but we often recognise the flavour of a life becoming more godly. How we pray & worship is a key element in this mark of growing. 2) Commitment - Commitment has several features, including: commitment to Christ, to seeking God’s kingdom, to Christ’s body the Church. The outward signs might be measured in terms of those engaged in nurture Courses, Baptisms & Confirmations, Vocations to lay & ordained ministries, & Stewardship. 3) Partnership - Partnership is about working with other churches, locally & globally, schools, community groups, people, organisations for the common good, peace & justice. It’s about loving our neighbours as ourselves.  4) Influence - As disciples we are called to be salt & light to the whole world, & reflecting God’s light into dark corners. We look to influence attitudes & behaviours in our communities & wider society.  5) Numbers - Jesus’ last recorded command was to make disciples. We must be bold in our aims to increase the number of people associated with our churches, as worshippers & disciples. If a church is growing in numbers, it is often because it is focusing on other Marks of Growing. Increasing numbers is often a sign of spiritual health & certainly increases the Church’s potential & capacity to do God’s work.


  1. wow, you've been busy! It's worth stating that having a tagline isn't the same as having a strategy. Bath and Wells (my diocese) has the 'changing lives' strapline, but it's not a strategy or a vision, more of a headed sheet of blank notepaper.

    It's very interesting to see all this together in one place, and to think about how what's happening in diocese does, or doesn't, relate to the national goals. If the CofE is capable of strategic joined-up thinking across national, diocesan and parish level, then that truly will be a miracle. But I think we have the Archbishop who could help us do that.

    1. ta for the comment David and good point about taglines and strategies.

      I hope - and pray - ABC can help us join up a bit more and we can help/allow him do that.