Abbeydore Deanery Consultation 28th October 2017

Next Steps

Those of you who attended the Deanery Event will recall that the basic idea for the strategy is that each parish ‘categorise’ their building, aligning each church building with one of 5 categories that identifies the greatest opportunities for mission and community engagement.  It is a ‘self categorisation’ process, intended to be carried out by the parish and not imposed on you by anyone else.  The basic requirement is that it fits in with your Deanery or Benefice Map.  It should be a collaborative process, engaging the PCC, congregation, wider community if appropriate and clergy.  

The aim of each category is to identify the opportunities and then provide the resources to help you respond to those opportunities. This is the idea we tested with you at the Deanery day and there seemed to be broad support for this approach, with only one or two people having reservations.  You also told us that you wanted us to facilitate this process, to help you get to the category that you felt responded to the needs and opportunities within your parish.    

To that end, Tim and I have allocated 5 days in February to come and meet with each Benefice and look in more detail how we can move forward with next steps.  We will spend a day with each Benefice, visit the churches in the morning and then spend some time in the afternoon working with parish representatives really exploring the following points:

1. Looking at each category you proposed for your church at the Consultation Day;  Was it the right category? Is it still the one that gives you the greatest opportunity for spiritual and numerical growth or new ways of working?  We will remind you what category you identified with from the Consultation event in the hope that before we visit you in February that you will have had the chance for your PCC to have a discussion on the day about the suggested category for your church.  Is that the right one?  Does it fit in with the Deanery Map? Does it help you get where you want to be? Is it completely wrong for your church?  

 2. We will also explore further with you new ways of working at a Benefice and Deanery level that will help you support each other and come up with ideas for collaborative models of caring for your buildings. 

3. Finally, we will test once again what support you think you will need to meet your objectives – and ideas that care from the Deanery day include more officer time, more funding support, more training, etc. 

Tim and I thank you for your engagement and your patience so far.  

Our buildings are holy and precious places and they have evolved over many hundreds of years.  The change we want to see in our approach to their care and development and will not happen over night.  We are 5 months in to a 12 month process to write a strategy – one based on consultation with you so that we have tested the ideas with the people on the ground that are caring for these buildings.   

We look forward to seeing you next month. 

With very best wishes, 

Wendy Coombey  Tim  Bridges.  

Community Partnership and                    Church Buildings Support Officer.

Funding Officer