Our Direction

Our vision

No one can encounter God and remain unchanged. From Moses at the burning bush to Jesus himself at his baptism; from fishermen leaving their nets, to the women who first witnessed the resurrection – the Christian story is a story of lives transformed. And the story goes on – we are called to partner with a generous God so that lives changed by an encounter with Christ overflow into families, homes and communities and will be changed for the better: Changed Lives → Changing Lives.

Click here to read our Diocesan Strategy in a nutshell.

Resourcing the Future (2019) - an update from the update from the Church of England's Renewal & Reform programme.

Our objectives

  • Growing the Church, numerically and spiritually
  • Re-imagining ministry for lay and ordained
  • Building partnerships that enrich communities

Our goals (2018-2023)

Over the next five years as a diocesan family, we choose to:

  • become more connected and mission-focused in prayer
  • become more diverse: with more people from more communities in our congregations – especially young people and those from areas of deprivation
  • offer more courageous leadership: calling, equipping and supporting lay and ordained people to lead the Church in mission in a rapidly changing culture.

Our values

  • Listening: to God and one another
    Trusting that God guides us and that to do his work we need each other
  • Celebrating what is good
    Sharing stories of how God has been at work, in big and small ways, and investing in ‘cross pollinating’ what we’re already learning across the Diocese
  • Risk-taking
    Valuing creativity and trying new approaches, even when we’re not sure it’ll work. Encouraging supportive accountability with a focus on learning, rather than blame
  • Every-member ministry
    Encouraging and supporting each to discern their calling and play their part, sharing leadership and working together at all levels
  • Letting the edge shape the centre
    Being attentive to the voices of those on the edge of our communities, being ready to learn from them and letting their needs and insights shape our mission

Our projects: what we're doing

Our strategy is a ‘living document’ – as we listen to God and one another, as we seek his will for us and our communities – the shape of our work will undoubtedly change. As that work evolves, our projects will develop and new areas of work will be identified. These documents and webpages will be regularly updated to reflect the changing shape of our work.

Changing Lives Prayer Network

Our diocese is already full of people who are faithful in prayer. The Changing Lives Prayer Network will build on our rich heritage to deepen our shared life of prayer in a more intentional way, by:

  • helping us as a diocesan family to listen for God’s direction
  • connecting people across the Diocese in creative prayer
  • equipping us to pray more and to pray more deeply

We will be celebrating a Diocesan Day of Prayer and Pilgrimage on 31 May 2020, as part of Thy Kingdom Come’s global wave of prayer.

Click here to find out more.

Ignite: Church, but not as you know it... 

Ignite is a worshipping community for those on the edges of our society, for whom ‘traditional church’ might not make much sense. There are already three Ignite congregations in the Diocese and, with support from the Church Commissioners, we are well underway with planting a further nine across the Diocese and the Channel Islands. Although these first plants are aimed at particular groups of people, there will be lessons and resources from this project that can benefit churches in all contexts.

Click here to find out more.

Prioritising young people

Many of our communities are already engaged in flourishing ministry with teenagers. Building on this, we will establish new youth hubs which will aim to increase the number of teenagers in our churches and to encourage and nurture teenagers as disciples. The first hub – Zeal Youth Hub – has already been established in Sittingbourne, with churches from across the deanery working together to help young people connect with faith and worship in new ways.

This work will be overseen by Youth Hub Project Leader. With the aim of supporting this ministry across our diocese, we will be looking out for what learning and resources might benefit churches that are seeking to work with teenagers in a variety of contexts, as part of the continued development of our commitment to ‘Whole Church.’

Click here to find out more.

Changing Lives Conversations

Want to change the culture? Let's start by changing the conversation. Two simple questions for you to explore with your church, small group or friends: 

  • How is knowing Christ changing your life now?
  • How can we better support one another to be seven-days-a-week disciples?

These questions are designed to help us think about how confident we are in our faith, and in sharing that faith. Across our diocese, church and community groups will be meeting regularly to ask each another these questions, seeking to learn how we can better help one another to grow in confident faith.

Click here to find out more and access resources to facilitate your own Changing Lives Conversations.

Missional Learning Communities

Missional Learning Communities (MLCs) help us to find God’s way forward in mission in our changing contexts and changing world – transforming the culture of the church.

MLCs follow a three year path that gives churches a framework and resources to help them listen attentively to God and their community and decide what God might be calling them to be and do.  The first MLC wave began in 2019, followed by the second in 2020.  Subsequent waves follow each year.

The combination of commitment, spiritual disciplines and practical tools make MLCs a powerful process. The evidence is that this kind of process can lead to profound and positive change.  

Click here to find out more.

Caring for Creation

God’s gift of creation - our natural world - provides everything to sustain our lives. As humans, we're appointed by God as stewards of life on earth, and yet our actions have contributed to the widespread extinction of species. Now, human-induced climate change (the biggest environmental challenge we face) is damaging the most vulnerable people on earth and could ultimately jeopardise our very existence.

Our Diocese believes that care for creation is fundamental to our mission and our Diocesan Synod in November 2019 decided that this should be a key strand of our strategy for the future. Find out more here.