Gathering Stories - Generating Insights

This page gives details on the story gathering  process that took place as part of Shaped By God Together in September 2020.

Anyone who is part of any of our diocesan family of communities - churches, schools, chaplaincies, fresh expressions of Church, Cathedral etc  was invited to reflect on and share their faith experiences in order that we could learn together about how God was and is reshaping us.


This process included an invitation to everyone  diocesan family to share stories of what they had been learning about everyday prayer, everyday witness and everyday action. Open to people of all backgrounds, all ages, all circumstances, everyone in our faith communities was invited to participate in 'Gathering Stories - Generating Insights' from 3 - 30 September 2020.

We collated these stories and invited people from across our faith communities to use them to generate insights about the future of the church – knowing that, while our core remains the same, the way we express our church life may need to look quite different in the future. Influenced by everyone's stories and experiences, we considered together how we care for our buildings, share financial resources and reshape our models of ministry.

More detail of how the process worked:

This was a process of Participatory Narrative Inquiry. It works with complex situations and the stories people tell about their experiences. It invites people to share small anecdotes of their experience, and to answer some questions about their story. Within this process we will gather hundreds of stories and begin to examine patterns in the stories that can help shape responses at many levels. This will reveal our diocesan learning and will in turn feed into our future planning.

The process is Participatory in that it includes a diverse group of people as designers of the project, and hundreds of people to tell their stories. The process is Narrative in that we are gathering stories and allowing story tellers to interpret those stories. And it is Inquiry-based in that the stories and the patterns that are revealed provide material to stoke the curiosity of people and groups who may wish to learn and support promising emerging practices.

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