"Give ear to my words, O Lord, give heed to my sighing." Psalm 5.2
Mission Strategy 2021: Listen
We want to address feelings from some church members of sinking under the burden of buildings, finance and bureaucracy.
November 2017 update from the Listen stream:
Since our last report we have held two workshops, Transforming your church building for mission in Old Hunstanton and Filby. Emphasis was on:- ‘it’s not being a building project, but a mission project that happens to involve a building’. Both have been well received and due to demand a further workshop was planned for 23 November 2017.
We now have a number of Church Building Ambassadors, available to provide training and support for parishes in the best use of their buildings and how to apply for grants. Details of this service can be found on the Diocesan website.
To support our Fabric Officers, we are currently looking at creating a template that could be used when engaging contractors, detailing what needed to be considered/ checked before using anyone.
The Diocese of Norwich Churches Trust had hoped to have started vesting some of our churches but a delay has been caused whilst a rather complicated issue of insurance is ironed out.
Statistics for Mission – a meeting with the Church Commissioners focused on how the information requested is used at national level but more importantly the interpretation and benefits that can be gained at parish level. This in turn freeing up time to be used in Mission. The Parish Dashboards created with this information are available via our website. The response has been very positive – if you know why information is being collected and the benefit it can provide you then remove the perceived burden and bureaucracy.
We are working with the Imagine Norfolk Together Development Workers to facilitate a process to help churches think about themselves in relation to the local community they seek to serve.
At the Bishop’s Day of Celebration and Prayer we had four key areas relating to how we listen to the Church, community, ourselves and God.
We included a ‘Sign Post’ area where practical help was given but where we also collected details from those offering help. Responses to the feedback collected at March’s Synod were also on display.
We also had the use of St Catherine’s Chapel where people were able to go to pray and ‘Listen’ to God.
About the Listen stream
The stream is led by the Diocesan Secretary, assisted by the Archdeacon of Norfolk and other designated officers. The aims are to:
- offer training to those caring for their buildings and support with administration, finance and governance
- gift architect’s time to parishes to look specifically at building needs in relation to mission and encourage the sharing of expertise
- improve processes and simplify or reduce the amount of information gathering
- increase the capacity of the Parish Funding Support Officers
- continue to look at research identifying key factors in encouraging growth.