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Renewing Hope: 'How is it for you?'

by Michael Ford last modified 13 Feb, 2019 10:22 AM

An independent review into the ongoing success of the Diocesan vision of ‘Renewing Hope: Pray, Serve, Grow’ has been initiated by Bishop Nicholas, who has invited the former Bishop of Chelmsford to oversee the process.

Bishop John Gladwin will be visiting the Diocese in early March and in preparation for his visit a survey entitled has been launched today on the Diocesan website.

Click here for the survey

Shortly after his arrival in 2011, Bishop Nicholas engaged the Diocese in a careful and prayerful process of exploration and discernment. Through the process of ‘Let us Talk’ and a series of deanery visits he invited us to explore who we are as a Diocese, where we are going and how God wants us to move forward.

The resulting vision – ‘Renewing Hope: Pray, Serve, Grow’ – was endorsed by Diocesan Synod in 2016 and has since informed priorities in a number of important areas of the Diocese’s common life from parish level upwards.

The vision looked to make prayer and stories of renewed hope central to whenever we meet; that more opportunities were created to pray together, and the diocese would provide resources to help parishes and individuals to develop their prayer lives.

To help the Diocese serve, increasing support and resources were promised for promoting social justice.

And finally in a bid to grow church membership by 10% over the next 10 years, the Diocese pledged to increase the training and support for nurturing disciples, vocations to ordained ministry, the training and support for rural ministry, new forms or expressions of church and worship, and ensure direct support to help parishes grow.

Bishop Nicholas has always intended that there would be an independent audit of the Renewing Hope vision 3 years on from its launch, and so has invited Bishop John to oversee the process
Diocesan Secretary David Pain said:
“To help us evaluate Renewing Hope, Bishop John Gladwin, retired Bishop of Chelmsford, will be carrying out an independent, interim review throughout February and March. I want to invite everyone involved in our Diocese to help by completing the Renewing Hope questionnaire.

“The responses will be invaluable in helping us to form a picture of how well embedded Renewing Hope is, and how it is affecting our common life.”

A summary of Bishop John’s report, based on the survey results, interviews and focus groups, will be posted on the Diocesan website later in the year.

Bishop John Gladwin was the Bishop of Chelmsford from 2004 to 2009, Bishop of Guildford from 1994 to 2004, and Provost of Sheffield from 1988 to 1994. Committed to social and individual justice, Bishop John was a member of the House of Lords from 1999 until his retirement in 2009.

He was Director of the Shaftesbury Project on Christian Involvement in Society for six years before becoming Secretary of the Church of England’s Board for Social Responsibility. He was chair of the Ministry Division of the Church of England until 2006.

His work with Christian Aid took him around the world, seeing first hand the work of many Christians committed to working alongside the world’s most needy people. He served as chair for 10 years, and also helped to set up Traidcraft, the fair trade retailer.

As Bishop of Chelmsford, he sought to embrace the vast diversity of the second largest diocese in the Church of England. On his retirement in 31 August 2009 he became Chairman of Citizens Advice.

The online questionnaire should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and will be invaluable in helping us to see how Renewing Hope affects our common life.

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