Here to help
Strategic Programme Director
The Diocese of Sheffield is called to grow a sustainable network of Christ-like, lively and diverse Christian communities in every place which are effective in making disciples and in seeking to transform our society and God’s world.
Known as the ‘3Rs’ Renewed, Released, Rejuvenated, our strategy sets out how we will realise the above vision.
In September 2017, Bishop Pete Wilcox, was installed as our new Diocesan Bishop. At this point, the diocese was six years into its strategy, so Bishop Pete undertook a review of what had worked, what hadn’t and what the current issues were. After a series of consultations throughout the diocese, it became apparent, that while the vision of the diocese was still exactly the same, some re-focussing was needed on how we get there. The revised Diocesan Strategy, was launched formally on 6 October 2018.
The strategy builds on established initiatives such as the Centenary Project as well as the introduction of new strategic priorities, such as the Resourcing Churches programme. Both these two programmes are largely funded through the Strategic Development Fund operated by the national Church. The strategy also involves a definite focus on prayer, on developing new congregations and on everyday discipleship through the Lights for Christ initiative.
The strategy falls under three areas: Renewed, Released, Rejuvenated.
Our strategy sets out a map for how we might realise our vision for the Diocese by 2025. The RENEWED part of the strategy aims to maintain as a first priority a real reliance on the Spirit of God in prayer and worship and in the consecration of our lives, as individuals and communities.
More detail on ‘Renewed’
Under this part of the strategy, the diocese will seek to recruit and resource a Prayer Community of 2025 members who will make a daily commitment to:
- Say the Lord’s Prayer
- Read at least one Bible verse
- Say the Diocesan Vision Prayer
- Pray for Growth
Praying that more than 2.5% of the population of the diocese will be part of our worshipping community and that other Christian denominations will also grow in size.
In addition to this, the diocese will commit to hosting 2 Prayer Gatherings a year in each deanery (or paired deanery), each to be attended by a bishop, and one diocese-wide gathering (in the Cathedral or another suitable venue).
The 2025 Prayer Community will be made up of adults and young people from across the diocese. Anyone can be a part of it, but please note that membership implies a level of daily commitment – as outlined above, and for the duration of the strategy.
Our strategy sets out a map for how we might realise our vision for the Diocese by 2025. The RELEASED part of the strategy has two aspects:
- To release parishes as far as possible from current constraints (eg administrative and compliance demands; of inherited structures and buildings);
- To liberate untapped potential of individual disciples and whole congregations; of buildings (for wider community use); and to make the most effective use of our concentrations of greatest resource (church schools, universities, the largest churches).
More detail on ‘Released’
To this end we have:
- reviewed Ministerial Development Review papers for clergy to include questions about a) annual leave and rhythms of rest; and b) PCC endorsement of the investment of time in inherited and/or emerging church activities;
- participated in the National Church ‘Setting God’s People Free’ learning community programme and have locally established Lights for Christ;
- reviewed the 2019 Common Fund system;
- established Mission Area Support to empower parishes in all the practical and compliance aspects of running a church community.
And we will:
- seek to increase Common Fund receipts to pre-covid levels and move to s sustainable increase to help us realise our vision.
Growing the church younger and urgently planting new congregations
God is doing many exciting new things in the Diocese of Sheffield as part of the Rejuvenated strategy. One of these is the starting of 50 New Congregations to reach new people with the Kingdom of God.
The New Congregations are God’s ‘new wine’ of the Holy Spirit and they complement existing congregations, honour and affirm them.
Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.Matthew 9:17
Our 3Rs Strategy sets out a map for how we might realise our vision for the Diocese by 2025. The REJUVENATED part of the strategy has two aspects:
- The age demographic of our members is uneven: we are overdependent on older people and need to engage more younger people.
- The ‘institutional age’ of our parishes themselves and their congregations is also uneven. We need urgently to plant new churches and congregations and to nurture ‘infant’ fresh expressions.
More detail on ‘Rejuvenated’
To this end, we will focus on the following key areas:
- Resourcing Churches
Identify and invest in 12 Resource Churches by 2025, to champion the founding of new congregations, using a variety of models and expressing the full diversity of traditions.
- 50 New Congregations
Establish 25 new congregations in each archdeaconry by 2025.
- Churches in Schools
Identify by 2020 and establish by 2025, 25 new congregations in CofE schools.
- Centenary Project
Engage an additional 2500 children and young people through the Centenary Project by 2025, bringing at least 250 to baptism and/or confirmation.
- Recruit 10 BAME ordinands/ordinands with disabilities by 2025
One of our first steps is Unconscious Bias Training.
- Young Vocation Champions
Young ensure that 10% of licensed lay and clergy leaders are aged under 40 by 2025.
- Areas of high deprivation
Prioritise the health and strength of the mission of God in our 25 most deprived parishes.
- Connected: Online Mission and Ministry
Supporting churches in the Diocese of Sheffield in their Online Mission and Ministry.
What can I do?
We have training, 1-1 help, a supportive network and much, much more to help you fulfil the great commission of Jesus.