Renewing Hope Across the Diocese

by Gerry Lynch last modified 21 Mar, 2016 11:31 AM

Bishop Nicholas invites people to join him as he visits all 19 deaneries in the new year to discuss prayer, service and growth.

Bishop Nicholas will visit all 19 deaneries in the new year to discuss the overall theme of Renewing Hope, with three areas of focus: pray, serve, grow.

The meetings will be open to all churchgoers, not just clergy and Deanery Synod members. To find out where and when they are being held click here.

The aim is to be inspired by and share stories with each other; to give time to prayer as a foundation of our life and to service in God’s world, in the confident hope that these have always been the foundations for both personal growth and the growth of the Church.

Bishop Nicholas said “These visits follow on from the Let Us Talk listening process of 2012-3. Renewing Hope emerged from the realisation that it was important to change the culture of the Diocese, rather than changing structures or policies or generating yet more centrally driven initiative.

“Culture change requires patience, but often makes the most profound differences over a very long timescale. There are also some very significant challenges which we need to face together.

“One significant change we have made to our working culture as Bishop’s staff  is that we now start all senior staff meetings by sharing the encounters and events that have renewed our hope since we last met. When we tell these stories, we tackle the most difficult challenges with fresh confidence. 

“In the Diocese of Salisbury there is not a picture of uniform decline. Around a third of the churches in this Diocese have seen their membership grow by 10% or more in the last 10 years. The churches which are growing come in all sizes and from different traditions. They are both rural and urban. There is no one way in which churches pray, serve and grow.

“I want to set out the key issues as I see them as the Bishop and ask people three questions to discuss on the evening, and then take back to their benefices and parishes.

•      What will you pray for?

•      Who will you serve?

•      How will you grow?

“Numbers and money matter, of course they do, but they are not primary. Where there is a purposeful, deep and well led church, money and numbers usually find their place.

“Our churches are bursting with stories of people whose lives have been transformed and who have gone on to transform the lives of others around them.”

Come and be part of the discussions – all are welcome. 

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