Mission and Pastoral Special Meeting, 15th September 2012
There will be a specially convened event on Saturday, 15th September from 8.30am to approximately 1.30pm. The venue is Christ Church, Winchester who, very generously, are providing breakfast and lunch as well as their facilities. The meeting is for all Deanery Synod members, Churchwardens and parish representatives. As I hope you are aware, a process has begun to work out the future of Church of England ministry within the national structures, the Diocese of Winchester and in our Deanery. It touches every village, suburb and neighbourhood in our Deanery and, if we are to get things as right as we can, we need every one of our Church communities to participate in that process - owning the problems; seeing the opportunities and going forward together in a way that honours and respects our different locations and church traditions.
This is the purpose of the morning of 15th September – to enable better participation in a process that will inform the shape the Anglican ministry in all our communities. We have some difficult issues to thrash out – far too many to be done in one morning, but we do need to start somewhere and we need time together to get a collective mind on the way forward. So we are just focussing on a few for one morning, this will then be processed by various Deanery structures:
How do we increase the ministry of the Church of England so that we proclaim the gospel afresh to each generation, when there are whole generations missing from our church communities and we have reduced stipendiary clergy?
What does discipleship really look like and how do we make it a core activity and focus in each of our church communities?
In the light of all this, how do we organise ourselves for the future – how will that impact future parish vacancies; the ministries of existing licensed ministers?
Interspersed will be a couple of stories of some signs of hope from within our Deanery – to encourage us along the way. The morning will be a busy but purposeful one, but it will be something less if we do not have good engagement from across the Deanery.