The context for the strategy is the diocesan vision – a healthy, vibrant and sustainable church transforming lives in greater Lincolnshire – and the diocesan mission – faithful worship, confident discipleship and joyful service: three priorities for the diocese supported by three enabling priorities of ministry, resources and partnerships.

Central to the strategy are three ideas:

  • the parish and parish growth is at the centre of all we do
  • the local determines the agenda, not the diocese
  • progress will be made through Learning Communities, centred on the six character areas (rural, coastal, urban, market towns, suburban villages, and housing developments).

The strategy is made up of a range of approaches, from raising the number of stipendiary clergy, addressing financial issues, encouraging Mission Action Planning, establishing a centre of mission in Scunthorpe, promoting growth at the local level through Learning Communities, developing resource churches and funding social justice projects across the diocese. There is no one-size-fits-all approach and, as a diocese, we are encouraging the rigorous application of diverse approaches as suits the context and situation.

 

The strategy offers a methodology to support the development of action plans, at whichever level planning is happening. This is expressed in the wheel (shown above). The sections of the wheel show the twelve areas that the planning will take into consideration. This offers:

  • a rigour to ensure that all the necessary areas are covered
  • an affirmation that all areas are contributing in their diversity to mission
  • a challenge to any church, department or group that is not addressing a sufficient range of factors.

The wheel is designed to be used at any level in the diocese, whether by individuals looking at their own faith development, a local church looking at focusing their ministry, the team at Edward King House in deciding on deployment, resourcing and support, or the Diocesan Synod and Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance in making decisions about investments.

Wherever planning may be located, the centre of the wheel remains parish growth, so that any planning must stand or fall on how well it supports the growth of the local church in faithful worship, confident discipleship and joyful service.

There is no list of centralised, top-down, strategic goals, just a clear commitment to supporting church growth.

The Learning Communities will provide an embedded channel for constant listening and consultation.

For further information please contact David Dadswell, Bishop’s Strategic Implementation Adviser, via email or by calling 01522 50 40 62.