05 January 2018
As published in the January/February issue of Crosslincs, after some 18 months of discussion and preparation, the Learning Communities are set for launch, with the first round to get underway during February and March.
So as to provide the Learning Communities with an official launch and to set them in a foundation of prayer and worship, Bishop Christopher is calling people to come together for a special service at Lincoln Cathedral on Saturday, 3rd February 2018 (this will begin at 11am and will then be followed by a lunch). We are asking people to book a free ticket (please see below).
This occasion will offer a great opportunity for as much of the diocesan family as possible to come together and celebrate our commitment and also the great variety of our contexts for mission that are to be found in greater Lincolnshire. To symbolise something of this, many of the elements of the service, such as the music, the readings and the prayers, will be led by people from churches from around the diocese, and Bishop Christopher will preside at the Eucharist.
In recent months, members of the diocesan senior staff have accompanied the Revd David Dadswell and the Revd Richard Steel at meetings to discuss the new diocesan strategy and Learning Communities. As has been stated at these meetings, the parish and parish growth must be at the centre of all that we do, with churches (and other groups around the diocese) encouraged to look at 12 important areas of church life with a focus on parish growth:
Personal growth in faith
(The above areas are not listed in a particular order.)
All of our churches are being encouraged to be part of a Learning Community. These will be groups from different parishes, or benefices, who will come together several times a year to take part in a reflective forum, to exchange ideas, receive input and develop talent. It is our belief that people learn best when it is with, and from, people in a similar context to their own, and so our Learning Communities will come together from within six ‘character areas’ (the six main types of settlement in the three counties of the diocese):
As the launch in February will demonstrate, all of this must be undergirded with prayer, and so as the opening prayer used at our recent meetings says: ‘As we come together to discuss how we might become a learning diocese in your service, we pray, Lord, that we may learn from each other, and above all from you.’
All are welcome to attend the Learning Communities launch service. This is a free event, but we are asking attendees to please register via Eventbrite so that we have an idea of numbers in advance. Please follow this link to register.
In addition, and for those who are able to stay on in Lincoln, nine new canons are to be collated and installed at a service of Evensong to be held in the cathedral on the same day (Saturday, 3rd February 2018) at 5.30pm. At the same service, the Revd Dr Paul Overend will be installed as Chancellor of Lincoln. All are welcome to attend, and more information may be found here.
Edward King House will be open between the two services for people wishing to remain in Lincoln until the service of Evensong.