Transforming Church FAQs


1. What is Transforming Church?

2. How have you engaged with people?

3. Who is it for?

4. Why are you doing this now?

5. What will you do with the responses, and is my response confidential?

6. When and how will the work be completed?

7. What has happened to the previous vision, Creating Connections?

1. What is Transforming Church?

The Church of England in our region is shaping a new vision and set of priorities for the coming years. We want to understand what we do well, what we can change for the better and create a positive way forward together.

This year-long process is called Transforming Church. Together.

We began with conversations – with communities, congregations, clergy, church leaders, and staff. Between February and April 2021 we talked with and listened to lots of different people, both within and outside the church. 

We listened carefully to understand what each other think and feel about God and the Church of England, but also about our communities, society and the world.

2. How have you engaged with people?

The Diocese of Bristol covers Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Wiltshire and Swindon. We invited everyone in our region to join the conversation about our future direction. 

Over two months, we engaged with people in a variety of ways– such as through virtual meetings and workshops, an online questionnaire, social media and through churches. 

3. Who is it for?

Transforming Church. Together is for everyone in the Diocese of Bristol, both within and outside the church. 

We aim to be relentlessly inclusive in our approach and we are committed to listening to voices that we don’t often hear, opinions that we find difficult and those that challenge the status quo. We want to engage with and understand the perspectives of people inside the church, those who relate to it and those who may never have given it a thought.

4. Why are you doing this now?

This work begins in a complex world that is experiencing seismic changes. Covid-19, Brexit, racism, growing inequalities, the climate crisis, ongoing digital revolution, approaching recession and debates over human identity are disrupting and changing society and communities.  

At the same time, we know that numbers of regular worshippers are declining and the role of the Church of England in wider society is contested more now than it has been in recent history. 

We know we need to do things differently in the future. We want to understand what we do well, what we can change for the better and create a positive way forward together.

5. What will you do with the responses, and is my response confidential?

All the responses have been gathered, read, analysed and considered. They are now being used to discern a new vision and set of priorities for the diocese.

Your response have been anonymised and remain confidential, and will be held securely for a few months as we analyse what people have told us and use that to shape our future plans.

6. When and how will the work be completed? 

Transforming Church. Together is a year-long review during 2021. Between February and April 2021 we listened to, talked to and engaged with people across the diocese.

Following this, we began the process of identifying and articulating the vision, values and themes that have emerged, and developing and agreeing priorities. We will have developed and agreed a plan for the implementation of the transformation programme by the end of this year.

7. 

The Diocese of Bristol has, since 2016, been working to the vision of Creating Connections – with God, each other and our communities – and the priorities of making disciples, growing leaders and engaging younger generations.

Rt Revd Vivienne Faull began her ministry as Bishop of Bristol in October 2018. She has spent time listening to and engaging with the current context of the diocese to prepare for developing a refreshed vision and strategy. Over the last two years, the Bishop and diocese have responded with conviction to this changing context, making major commitments about issues such as the environment and racial justice. 

As this strategic plan period, 2016–2020, ended, the Bishop’s Council recognised the need to renew its vision and strategy for mission and ministry to enable a spirit-led, transformed, sustainable and flourishing future for the diocese.