Mission Partnerships can be defined as: two or more parishes or benefices, committed to sharing resources and ministers, in mission to a defined area.So, there is considerable flexibility in what a Mission Partnership might look like but the focus is on sharing resources and leadership to enable mission in the shared area.
Why do we need them?
Partnership working was a consistent feature of ministry in the New Testament church. The diocesan strategy for Sustainable Patterns of Stipendiary Ministry identified that the role of stipendiary clergy is changing to return to this greater emphasis on oversight and enabling responsibilities. Mission Partnerships are a way of enabling and encouraging collaboration between clergy and parishes in mission and ministry.
How do we develop a Mission Partnership?
Mission Partnerships need to be developed within the structure of the deanery plan. Therefore they need to be progressed in consultation with the Area Dean, Parish Support Team and Archdeacon. Each church in the envisaged Mission Partnership will need to select people to be part of a joint Steering Group, which will report to each PCC. We believe that there are five identifiable stages in the process:
- Exploration. Getting to know each other’s parishes, finding common ground and considering what you could fruitfully do together. Download the MP agreement materials from the website, as these will help you to set off on the right track.
- Development. Beginning to work in earnest towards a Mission Partnership Agreement and promoting greater contact between the congregations. Invite a member of Parish Support Team / Graham Millar to your initial meeting to talk through the process and supporting resources.
- Approval. Draft agreement sent from PCCs to Area Dean and Parish Support Team for review; when it is finalised, to the Archdeacon to be signed off for formal approval by DMPC.
- Launch. An important step in marking publicly the partnership
- Monitoring / Review. The Agreement is not a piece of paper to put on a shelf but a working document. Reviewing it will helpful you to develop / expand your shared mission
For full resources concerning Mission Partnerships please see the associated web page 'Mission Partnership Development Tool Resources'. Or you can contact Lucy Nunn and the Parish Support Team by phoning (01709) 309135 or emailing Lucy.Nunn@Sheffield.anglican.org.
If you are interested in exploring the Mission Partnership Development Worker project, please see information on this web page: www.sheffield.anglican.org/development-worker-project