Local Mission Partnerships
In many ways, Local Mission Partnerships (LMPs) are the most important part of the new ways of working together. Like DPs, they do not replace benefices, groups or parishes, but join these together to create missional working communities of churches, worshippers and ministers.
In the Autumn of 2023 a number of Vision Days where held around the Diocese encouraging LMPs to work together to consider the key themes of collaboration, growth and Generosity. More information about these days can be found here
Local Mission Partnerships will embody a culture of collaborative, multi-disciplinary, generous and mission-focused church. They will need to be shaped carefully and prayerfully, led by local voices under the guidance of the archdeacons and bishops, supported by the Time to Change Together team. Wherever possible, Local Mission Partnerships will have at least three stipendiary ministers. With the likely constraints on the total number of stipends, there is likely to be between one and four Local Mission Partnerships per DP. Many Local Mission Partnerships will be a new way of working for an existing deanery, but there are several other possible models.
As they evolve, Local Mission Partnerships will need to discern and agree:
- The ideal and realistic distribution of church types across the area and its people.
- The role of any Key Mission or Local Mission Churches.
- The pattern of collaboration between the Community Churches and the Festival Churches, and how their parishioners may be offered more than can be provided in their immediately local church
- How sacramental ministry may be best provided across the area.
- The availability, calling, skills, and connections of all types of lay ministers, as well as self-supporting and retired ordained ministers. They will be the backbone of the life of the churches.
- Where this ministry resource can best benefit from the placing of stipendiary priests, to enable, complement and guide the collaborative ministry.
- How best to provide oversight and legal obligations, focused missional ministry in the Key Mission and Local Mission
Churches, dedicated local ministers in most churches, maybe all, as well as specialist ministries.
- How the whole people of God in the Local Mission Partnership area may be best served.
Local Mission Partnerships are not a way to put more churches onto fewer ministers. They are an opportunity to think afresh – creatively and collaboratively – about how a varied group of ministers will serve the varied needs of an area, creating realistic roles for ministers and realistic expectations for churches and a new, exciting way to be church together.