As we continue to journey into what it means to be Shaped By God Together, Diocesan Synod is focusing on one of the five diocesan strategic priorities at each of its meetings in 2022 and 2023. At the last meeting it turned to focus on the priority of new worshipping communities. Jonathan Dowman, who leads our work with fresh expressions of Church, and Barry Hill, who leads our work with Resourcing Churches presented more on the why, what and how of new worshipping communities and pioneering.
This included Synod watching short videos about six different new churches in Leicestershire. These videos are available to watch at the bottom of this page. Full of exciting updates, progress and questions for the wider diocese, the slides from the presentation can be downloaded here and the videos can be viewed below
Barry and Jonathan updated Synod on the latest with the programmes they lead and New Communities they oversee, and how they have been impacted by Covid.
For Resourcing Churches this included an update on the Resourcing Church Reset Plan, as the six Resourcing Church hubs look to respond to the 18-24 months of delays caused by Covid. Synod heard how the Church Commissioners have generously agreed to a request to extend the initial length of the programme from six years to nine years (finishing in June 2027) and provide £600,000 of additional monies so that some strategic roles leading new worshipping communities can be extended to help overcome covid delays, give sufficient time to grow towards long term fruitful sustainability and thereby also assist wider diocesan finances.
For our fresh expressions, Ordained Pioneer Ministers and the leaders they encourage, our work is focused on helping small and largely lay-led new worshipping communities navigate the changes of the past couple of years and the possibility that Shaped By God Together brings with few resources, but with great imagination and perseverance.
Please continue to hold the many new worshipping communities across our diocese in pray as God continues to do a new thing amongst us.