The Diocesan Synod met on 19 September 2015.
Bishops Address and Creating Connections
Following Bishop Mikes address, which laid out the vision for our Diocese and some of the challenges to overcome, Bishop Lee and Archdeacon Christine gave a presentation to familiarise members with the proposed Diocesan Strategy for 2016 to 2018 as summarised in the Creating Connections publication.
The presentation of full plans had been deferred as further clarity was awaited from the national Church, particularly in relation to the Resourcing Ministerial Education and the national Reform and Renewal proposals.
We expect this during the autumn, in time for the Standing Committee to review and refine the strategy and for Synod to debate it in December when it will be in a better position to consider its oversight role of the implementation.
Looking to Ephesians 4:15-16, Bishop Lee and the Archdeacon emphasised the Church's calling to proclaim the Gospel afresh in each generation, building on what has been learned and being attuned to God as we seek to move into a new phase.
Despite progress in many areas, the position in which we find ourselves is not sustainable, with many realities to be faced by reaching into what is possible with God.
The proposed three-year strategy aims to make incisive strategic shifts in how we resource ministry and foster connectedness.
The essence of the strategy is to join together an intensive initial recruitment, training and deployment plan with the first stages of a mission area plan, while sustaining parochial ministry.
This will enable us to develop a new generation of ministers who can lead in mission in the years ahead, as well as stimulate mission breakthrough in specific areas New learning will be shared with, and resource, the wider local Church.