Faith & Justice

The purpose of the Board of Faith and Justice is to oversee the implementation of the Diocesan Salt and Light Strategy by developing a passionate, confident vision of the distinctive contribution that churches in our Diocese can make in seeking to transform our society and God’s world. This vision is an integral part of the wider mission of the church and arises from a commitment to the values of the Kingdom of God.  The department works in a number of ways to achieve its vision:

The Board is structured around the Five Marks of Mission of the Anglican Communion.

  1. To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom.
  2. To teach, baptise and nurture new believers.

The first two Marks of Mission are addressed by the strategy documents Growing the Body of Christ and Re-Imagining Ministry

  1. To respond to human need by loving service.

The primary focus for mission and transforming our communities is at parish level. Much activity is already taking place, with at least two thirds of our parishes actively engaged in community and neighbourhood issues.

Every parish is encouraged to have a Salt and Light Link Officer whose task it is to promote the Salt and Light Strategy at local level and to act as a channel of communication between parishes, deaneries and the Board

  1. To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation.
  2. To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

Read a story from a Salt and Light Link Officer here.

Working Groups

The Board seeks to respond to these Marks of Mission through the activity of its working groups or advisors. Currently these are:

Mental Health

The aim of the Mental Health working group is to raise the profile of mental health issues within faith communities and to empower people who have experience of mental health problems. It also seeks to connect the church with a wide range of statutory, voluntary and faith bodies who bring expertise and advice. This group is chaired by Mrs Dorothy Cook.

Ageing

This group encourages parishes to honour, encourage and explore the potential and vocation of Christians in later years within their local church and wider community.The chair of this board is currently vacant.

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Anglicans

The Bishop's Adviser on Black, Asian and Minority Anglicans leads this group in work promoting race and cultural awareness. It aims to encourage full participation of minority ethnic Anglicans at all levels within the church.  Revd Anesia Cook, the Bishop's Adviser on Black, Asian and Minority Anglicans can be contacted on 0114 2509716. Click here to download the terms of reference for the group.

Dementia

The Diocese of Sheffield is a member of the Dementia Action Alliance. The working group resources parishes to look at the role they play in supporting people with dementia and their carers. This group is chaired by Mrs Therese Paskell who can be contacted on 07967 345093.

World Development

This group is chaired by Dr Jackie Butcher, the Bishop’s Adviser on world development who can be contacted on 0114 2621293. The group provides information support and advice on how parishes can engage with issues of global concern.

Climate Change and Environment

The Environmental Group seeks to encourage churches and individuals across the diocese to care for the environment that God has entrusted to us.  The group is chaired by The Revd Dr Michael Bayley, the Bishops Adviser.   

Poverty and Inequality working Group

This group’s remit is to raise awareness in the following areas:

  • Types and extent of poverty in the Diocese
  • Growing Inequality
  • Immigration and Asylum issues
  • Work, worklessness and livelihood inequality 

Role and Responsibilities of the Board

  1. To oversee the delivery of the Salt and Light strategy: The Board will be accountable to the Diocesan Bishop and Synod for overseeing the implementation of the Salt and Light Strategy. The Director of Parish Support will report regularly to the Board on the development of the network.
  2. To co-ordinate faith and justice activity across the Diocese:  Through good communication the Board will develop an overview of what is happening across the Diocese. It will also be the responsibility of the Board to initiate and respond to new initiatives using the working groups or by drawing in other resources to deliver specific projects.
  3. To facilitate good two way communication within the Salt and Light network: The Board will receive reports from parish based Salt and Light reps twice a year highlighting current activity and issues of interest or concern.  After each Board meeting the parish Salt and Light reps will receive a briefing note about the activity of the Board.
  4. To deliver specific pieces of work or projects through its working groups or Advisors: Projects initiated centrally by the Board or working groups will be delivered by the working groups or by bringing in other resources as necessary. A good recent example is the Dementia Friendly Communities and Churches Initiative which was instigated and delivered by the Mental Health working Group with the support of the Chair and Secretary of the Board.  Church House resources available to the Board and working groups are listed in the resources section of this report.
  5. To bring to the attention of the Bishop and the Diocese the voices of the poor and marginalised, recognising its potential for transformation for all of us: This will happen through the working of the committee structure of the Diocese and the Synodical system.
  6. To promote and encourage the five marks of mission to be reflected in and supported by the structures that frame our life as a Diocese and a church.

Church Urban Fund

The Church Urban Fund exists to fund urban community projects that support people on the margins of society. Through its work it enables local workers to tackle the effects of poverty and transform their neighbourhoods.  The Diocese of Sheffield, on behalf of Christian churches of all denominations in South Yorkshire, has a long and successful relationship with the Church Urban Fund.  Since the fund's inception in 1988 it has awarded almost £3,000,000 to projects operating within the geographical area covered by Sheffield Diocese.

 Churches Major Incident Plan

The Plan is coordinated by Sheffield City Council for the whole of South Yorkshire.   It brings together Christian volunteers from all denominations to provide practical help in the event of a major incident in the area.