Roadshows herald new ways of working
The last of this year’s series of six Autumn Roadshows was held at the Dracaena Centre in Falmouth on 24 October. A total of over 600 delegates attended the events at venues stretching across the diocese.
The theme throughout was ‘Our Vision’ and the speakers explained how the 3 Strands of the strategy — Discipleship, Accompanied Ministry Development (AMD) and Doing Church Differently — will all be woven together to form a coherent approach to the challenges currently faced by the Church of England in Cornwall.
Introducing the ‘Our Vision’ project, Bishop Chris warned of the dangers of complacency and spelt out the harsh realities of funding mission and ministry, of falling church attendances and ageing congregations. “We have a window of perhaps five to 10 years during which we can do something about the situation … no longer,” he said. “None of us likes change; but we cannot go on doing things in the same way that we have always done them up until now. We need to ‘do church differently’.”
Endorsing the strategy, Bishop Tim pointed out that it was now clear that the traditional model of each parish having its own priest had long gone. He said that it was the right time to be seeking new, more flexible ways of developing shared ministry and encouraging better use of lay skills and talents in the interest of proclaiming the Gospel in the wider community.
Accompanied Ministry Development will be particularly useful in this respect, he said. It is still a work in progress and pioneering in its nature, so parishes will be able to tailor the programme to suit their needs; and there is great interest at a national level as to how it develops.
Although there were opportunities for group discussions on each of the 3 Strands during every evening, the Roadshow programmes were, of necessity,’ tight’. So delegates were asked to complete feedback questionnaires so that all their views could be heard and, where possible, incorporated into the ‘Our Vision’ projects.
A summary of key trends in the feedback will be compiled and published in the January edition of The Coracle.
More information about ‘Our Vision’ and the 3 Strands