Dr Rowan Williams at Norwich Cathedral
The new strategy is an extension of Committed to Growth, building on what is already being done and continuing to look to grow in discipleship, service and numbers.
Entitled 'More than we can imagine', it identifies four 'streams' of work - Listen, Celebrate, Imagine and Empower - and will be resourced by grants from the national church (The Archbishops' Council) and trust funds (not from the diocesan budget). It is not meant to replace local mission planning, but to aid and build upon it with additional support.
Bishop Graham writes:
"We serve a God for whom there are always new possibilities, with whom there is always the prospect of new life and hope. Our prayer is that God will help us in our generation to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine, as we say together “your kingdom come”.
In September 2015 Bishop Graham wrote to all parishes asking three key questions: what are some of the good things happening locally; what are the biggest challenges; and what resources or support would be helpful centrally. From the many responses received common themes were identified and the 'streams' identified.
Speaking about our mission Bishop Graham writes:
"A strategy is important, but God’s church is nothing if it exists without love. The ministry to which the people of God are called must be an expression of God’s love. ‘Love the people to whom God has sent you’ is the deepest expression of the priestly task…'
"What I hope this new mission strategy will do is to complement all that the parishes are doing in their areas and to enhance the growth in discipleship, service and numbers. More than we can imagine, that’s what God gives us. We are a church committed to growth and we will continue to be so."