Parishes seeking advice and support can contact the Department of Mission and Community Engagement to discuss their needs. The main ways we are supporting parish development at present are listed below:
Leading Your Church into Growth Course (LYCIG)
In the Diocese of Rochester we run this residential course each year in the spring for lay and ordained church leaders. The course is free for the incumbent and one lay leader, additional places cost £250 per person.
The content of the course is largely the same as the national LYCIG course. It identifies the factors that help or hinder growth and helps church leaders to identify what changes might be needed in their own practices. Change is a word that is feared in the Church of England so it is particularly helpful if a small team from a parish attends the course to assist the incumbent in his/her efforts to embed the principles and practices which lead to growth. In addition, parishes that participate receive further support and training with visits by a LYCIG team member who can present some of the concepts to the PCC and other interested parishioners.
The 10 workshops cover the following subjects:
- Becoming a positive leader;
- Leading a positive team;
- Understanding our context and mission field;
- Becoming a mission church;
- Sharing practical mission event ideas;
- Preparing and stimulating lay people for evangelism;
- Establishing growth structures, strategies and principles;
- Encouraging missionary worship;
- Developing a culture of invitation and welcome and
- Creating a church community.
Mission Action Planning
Many dioceses now encourage churches to make Mission Action Plans which are SMART, ie they have:
- Specific goals which are
- Resourced, and are clear about the
- Time scale for starting, reviewing progress and completing.
For more information visit www.churchmaps.co.uk. A book on the subject, called How to Do Mission Action Planning by Mike Chew (published in paperback by SPCK in 2009 ISBN 978 0 281 06122 8) can be purchased online.
Everybody Welcome Course
How many people 'try out' your church each year? Do they feel welcome? Do they come back? What would happen if 10%, 25% or even 50% of your visitors became regular members of your congregation?
This is a DVD-based course for parishes that would like to improve their welcome. It will help you review your attitudes to newcomers, learn new approaches and identify areas for improvement and change. In particular it looks at the importance of helping people to integrate into church membership and how this can be encouraged. It was written by the Ven Bob Jackson, former Archdeacon of Walsall and the Rev George Fisher, Director of Mission in the Diocese.of Lichfield. The initial four sessions look at Making the Church More Visible; Making the Premises More Inviting; Being a Welcoming Community and Helping People to Belong. A fifth session provides training for the Welcome Team.
If you would like to hold an Everybody Welcome Course at your church please contact the Rev Canon Jean Kerr (details above).
Parish Weekends & Vision Days
Gossip the Good News