Warrington and Ormskirk take next step on their fit for mission journey

First published on: 1st December 2023

Churches in Warrington and Ormskirk have decided to take the next steps on a FIt for Mission journey by agreeing to work on the next phase. All churches in Warrington and half of those in Ormskirk have taken that decision and will begin working with the Fir for Mission teams on the next steps.

Commenting on the news Bishop John Perumbalath said:- “I recognise how important a decision this is and respect those who have discerned this is not the journey they want to take at this moment.  As I have said Fit for Mission is not an initiative but an attitude, a missional response. It is about local people discerning a vision from God of how the kingdom could be in their area with the people of God engaging in the mission of God – locally, determinedly and humbly. I give thanks for all in Warrington and Ormskirk who have carefully discerned what God is calling them to pray for both deaneries as they embark on the next steps of their journeys”

All churches in Warrington Deanery commit to the next stage of their Fit for Mission journey. 

All twelve churches within the Deanery of Warrington have confirmed to their area dean, Neil Shaw that they wish to continue onto the next phase of their Fit for Mission journey. This decision is the outcome of a 12-month engagement period that has included deanery synod and PCC exploration meetings, a marketplace event, a clergy coaching programme and retreat, alongside support from a team coach and the FfM team.

In the next stage of this journey, clergy and lay people from across the deanery will begin ‘working as if’ they are the larger parish, forming a range of teams that will work together to make proposals on how the larger parish will function, including a navigation team, tasked with communication and coordinating the journey, and a growth team, who will work on planning missional activity, with a particular focus on new and existing worship communities and justice initiatives.

Rev Neil Shaw, Area Dean and Team Rector of Warrington East says:
“We are really excited and encouraged that all 12 churches in Warrington have decided to engage with the next stage of Fit for Mission. We will soon be creating our navigation team to help us move forward. There has been lots of activity and support to help us make this decision, including fantastic support from the Fit for Mission team.

"It has not been a completely easy ride, and there are still some barriers and difficult questions we need to address, but we are really encouraged that everyone sees mission as a priority and that we need to find new ways of doing it. We hope that by working together and keeping mission at the forefront, Fit for Mission can be the springboard to help bring change to Warrington, bringing more people to know Jesus, and more justice in the world.” 

Rev Sarah Peppiatt, Team Vicar at Penketh St Paul & Westbrook St Philip says “We’re so excited and pleased that every church in Warrington has decided to be part of the process going forward. We hope this early unity will be a great foundation for going forwards together, and look forward to seeing what God wants to do among us”







Ormskirk Deanery progresses in fit for mission journey

Around half the PCCs in the deanery have made a decision to continue the Fit for Mission journey working together to explore what being part of a larger single parish would look like. Other churches have clearly indicated that this journey is not for them and so will remain outside of this conversation.

The deanery leadership team have met following the decisions and have agreed to put a proposal to Deanery Synod in January for the group of churches who want to explore working  together through Fit For Mission to progress in that direction. 

Area Dean, the Revd Chris Spittle said “It is clear that the churches in our deanery are mixed about whether they feel that they can be part of this journey. However a significant group wish to explore a future working closely together and the leadership team support this direction. I know that PCCs and congregations have carefully and prayerfully considered FfM and I am deeply grateful for the way people have contemplated all aspects. I know that all the churches remain committed to furthering God’s kingdom in our deanery.”

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