Achieving Sustainable Growth for the Common Good
Bishop’s Staff, Bishop’s Council and members of the Diocesan team have been working to build upon the foundations of our four Strategic Priorities (we grow authentic disciples; we re-imagine the Church; we are agents of social transformation; and we belong together in Christ) to create an Archdeaconry Mission Action Plan (aMAP).
The aMAP covers all of our Diocese, but there are distinctive elements for each of the two Archdeaconries, which will be led by the Bishop of Basingstoke and the Bishop of Southampton. The aMAP is next stage of the work undertaken at Diocesan Synod Conference, which brought together 200 people from across the Diocese in October 2016 to discern the next phase of our Diocesan Mission Strategy.
The aMAP is comprised of 12 areas of mission focus, which together will help us to achieve sustainable growth for the common good. Of these 12, five are already in progress:
1. The Diocesan Rule of Life: ‘Sharing God’s Life’: a pattern for loving, living and serving that provides the foundation for our mission spirituality. Find out more about how you can write your own Rule of Life here.
2. Companion Links: widening and deepening our engagement with God’s mission in other cultures and contexts and learning from and with our Links. Find out more about our Diocesan Companion Links here.
3. Strengthening engagement with all schools;
4. Fresh expressions of Church: developing contextual forms of Church for our changing culture, primarily for people who are not yet members of any church;
5. Alpha/Pilgrim initiative: a network of evangelism and discipleship courses across the Diocese.
We also have 3 additional projects which we will be focusing on in the coming months and years:
6. Thy Kingdom Come: this will provided a renewed focus on prayer from Ascension to Pentecost, culminating in the Cathedral Beacon event. Find out more here.
7. Social Transformation: promoting social engagement and social enterprise through Winchester Social Enterprise, beginning with a network of Diocesan ‘Launchpad Early Years’ pre-schools;
8. Increasing Vocations: we are seeking a 50% increase in vocations to lay and ordained ministries and up to 8 additional curates each year over the next 3 years.
Finally, we have four major ‘step-change’ projects, for which we are seeking funding to enable them to happen.
9. Rural mission: ‘Benefice of the Future’ – 3 pilot benefices will test and learn from new models for rural evangelism and discipleship;
10. Resource Churches planted: we will provide two Resource Churches in large conurbations which will produce two further church plants connected with two pilot areas establishing two new pioneering hubs;
11. Major Development Areas: we want to provide church support for community development and pioneer mission in areas with over 250 new homes;
12. Further and Higher Education: we will grow and deepen our engagement with student communities and with FE/HE institutions (especially in two strategic contexts).
Diocesan Synod voted in favour of adopting the aMAP in March 2017. We’re going to be sharing more information about it over the coming months, and how you can help to Live the Mission of Jesus in our Diocese. For now, please keep talking about how you, your parish or benefice are helping to live the mission of Jesus on social media using the hashtag #winchestermission.