Deanery Priorities


As a deanery we are committed to directing our energies in a focused way.

George Barn (who writes on Christian community, Barna, 1992) suggests that in evaluating churches one of the key distinctions is the existence of a true vision for ministry. ‘In every one of the growing, healthy (that is, user-friendly) churches I have studied, there is a discernible link between the spiritual and numerical growth of those congregations and the existence, articulation, and widespread ownership of God’s vision for ministry by leaders and participants of the church.  Conversely, there is invariably a clear absence of vision in those congregations in which there is neither spiritual nor numerical growth taking place’ (p12).  This is because visions are exciting and energizing – they inspire us.

As a deanery we are committed to developing a vision that gives us clear priorities to assist us in our Mission Action Planning (MAP).  A MAP makes sure the life and work of our deanery is:

Purposeful

– Doing what you are convinced is needed

Developing

– Always improving how you do these things

Focussed

– Not distracted by less important things

The exercise is designed to allow members of the deanery to build support for mission priorities and invite people to pray for these.  Along the way it also enables people to be encouraged to engage and help and prepare for when changes are planned.

Currently these include:

Schools Ministry

Building on the local we hope to develop a more strategic focus for our ministry.  Within the Church of England almost 1 million school children are educated each year.  We hope to support and extend our ministry to schools and to support the Foundation Governors of Church Schools

Men’s Ministry

Why is this important?  Over the last 20 years 38% of men attending church left the church.  The rate at which men are leaving the church is far greater than the rate at which women are leaving the church.  The current UK official statistics is 60% women to 40% men, although many suggest it is getting far closer to 70:30.  In addition, there is a real missional imperative in that statistically if we are able to attract fathers to our churches then the family is over four times as likely to join them as when we attract mothers. Missionally this is crucial to the future of the Church.

Serving the disadvantaged and under-privileged  in our Deanery
This is a newly specified priority for our Deanery to align us with those set out by our new Bishop. It is appreciated that much is already being done by individuals and Parishes, including by direct charitable Giving, but we feel it right to focus on this sector of our communities. Nationally the number of people in the UK living in relative poverty rose for the first time in almost a decade in 2014/15.