At its most recent meeting (30th March 2023), the Bishop’s Council of Diocesan Trustees (BCDT) approved the formation of 21 Local Mission Partnerships (LMPs).

Following the decision, churches, worshippers and ministers can begin the exciting next stage of growing together in their LMPs and working in partnership to serve their local areas in creative new ways.

Approval of these LMPs is a significant and exciting achievement, as we move towards a new way of being church together - where we belong through our baptism to the Body of Christ; through our parish system to our local church; and through A Time to Change Together to thriving families of churches in our Local Mission Partnerships.

The proposals for the LMPs have been developed by Deanery Partnership Steering Groups over the last year in consultation with Partnership Deans and Lay Co-Leads, following their appointment in June 2022.

The suggested LMPs and their constituent benefices were then used to calculate the affordable number of stipendiary ministers based on existing pledges and Lowest Income Communities (LInC) funding.

The approval of the LMPs by the bishops marks the final stage in their development. Over the summer archdeacons will now begin the process of swearing in churchwardens at services in each of the new LMPs. As well as the formal licensing, these services will be an opportunity to celebrate the formation of the LMPs and come together in these partnerships.

Three LMPs have not yet been approved: Grantham and Beltisloe, which have yet to be formally ratified, and the Society parishes, the status of which is currently under discussion with the Bishop of Richborough. All three will go before the BCDT at a later date.