Deanery Missions 2018

Deanery mission with one of our bishops

 

In 2015 Sheffield Diocese hosted the first of the Northern Bishops' Missions - Crossroads. Every deanery had one or more bishops allocated to them with visiting teams for four days of evangelistic outreach. Many churches were encouraged by the experience though there were ways in which we felt we could have had more impact.

In 2018, as part of Hope 2018, we want to encourage deaneries to have a mission with either Bishop Pete or Bishop Peter, both of whom have affirmed their desire to do these missions. Bishop Peter is leading a week in Doncaster Deanery in October 2017, which will be a first taste of such missions for next year.

Here are some important changes from 2015:

  • Flexible dates. The missions can be spread throughout 2018 to suit the host deanery. In the Hope 2018 calendar page you will find some suggestions of good times to have a mission. Please note that Bishop Peter is not available in early Jan 2018 nor Nov-Dec 2018. Obviously bishops' diaries tend to get heavily booked so please try to negotiate dates well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Flexible duration. You do not have to go for four days. Doncaster Deanery has events spread through the whole week; another deanery has booked in +Pete for a harvest mission that involves the Sunday plus one day in the preceding week.
  • Help with preparation / training. One of the regrets with Crossroads 2015 was that the tight timescale left no room to equip churches in how to create good evangelistic events nor to train people in how to naturally share their faith. Both things should be possible for 2018. Contact John Hibberd if you want to discuss these.
  • Mission team. We will not have visiting mission teams from other dioceses. They offered us much but we can turn this into an advantage. If there are no visitors, then locals can step up to the mark. Individuals, backed by their churches, would be welcome to offer to be involved in evangelism in their own deanery or in visiting another deanery. We already also have a small team of accredited Lay Parish Evangelists as well as other clergy and lay people with a track record in evangelism. This could be a great opportunity for us to build a diocesan team able to spearhead evangelistic work in the years to come. If you fit any of these categories and would like to be involved, contact John Hibberd.

 

Good points in the year for a mission ...

  • Holy Week: in some ways it seems counter-intuitive in that wider society often ignores Easter but the good news of Jesus comes into a sharp focus in this world-changing week
  • ​May / June: light evenings, often decent weather but ... avoid Diocesan Conference (12-14 June 2018)
  • September / October: still reasonable weather often & a good time of the year for follow up 
  • December: I don't think I've ever done a pre-Christmas mission but a series of carol services and similar events would offer the opportunity to connect very easily with lots of visitors to our churches - arguably it's the best time of all in the year for mission but one we often miss.