An important part of the process is to get as wide a range of views as possible regarding what the church in our area should be doing and how it should be serving our community, from both within and outside the church fellowship. Please complete the online survey (https://tinyurl.com/EastWiv) and encourage family, friends and neighbours to do so as well! It should only take 5-10 minutes to fill in. A limited number of paper copies will also be made available.
As always, the Diocese has been giving this some thought – but rather than telling us what our future shape might be, they are asking all the Deaneries to work with their benefices and parishes to explore how we see that future – and indeed how the wider community sees that future. This is being done through a process called On the Way which gives each and every one of us the opportunity to have our say about our vision for the future of the church in the community: and we are asked to pray and think through our vision as if there are no obstacles in the way – ‘blue sky thinking’ is what is needed – not a cloud in sight. This will involve listening to God – but also to what those in our community as well as those within our churches have to say. Once that process is complete, we can get down to brass tacks and see what is possible – based on the views of the people rather than Bishops and clergy making the decisions for us.
Please pray for this process: listen to what our loving and generously abundant God has to say to you – and be prepared to help out wherever you can. Make sure we have a bright, fruitful and sustainable Christian ministry in our area by sharing your vision for the future. One thing is very certain, we cannot continue as we are!
Adapted from a draft article by David Watters (Deanery Lay Chair)
There is an introduction to On the Way by Bishop Philip, including a short video, on the Diocese website: trurodiocese.org.uk/about-us/on-the-way/