Archdeacons Jennifer McKenzie and Pete Spiers opened the debate by setting out the challenges we face and Archdeacon Roger Preece steered synod through a session to look at what can support or block our growth agenda.
Synod unanimously approved the direction we are looking to take and our four Archdeacons are now working on plans for a wide consultation across our diocese. They will then report back to Synod in October.
Synod was told that the Growth Agenda has shaped our context and that we are not looking at a fundamental change in direction. As a diocese we have committed ourselves to a long obedience in the same direction. To grow the church to bring more people to Jesus and see more justice in the world. Or to put it another way to see a bigger church making a bigger difference.
Our consultation is about hearing as many voices as possible. We need to be discerning about what we do not piling on demands but what we do needs to be the will of our diocese. So your voice is important and we need to hear from you and people like you.
Synod approved the consultation paper which sets our briefly the context we are working in; the response we have made so far, the work that needs to be completed and some options for what comes next. It is brief. Deliberately brief. So that your voice can be heard within the debate.
We will announce further details of how the consultation will take place and how we can hear your voice in due course but it will be formed around three key questions
Have we identified the right areas of focus?
What is missing?
What is most important to you?
Bishop Paul said “God is in charge but he is giving us a challenge through the way the world is.” We have a vision, to be a bigger church to make a bigger difference, we have a long established agenda to grow, we need your voice to develop and deliver this."