Mission in the Diocese
Our understanding and practice of mission is based on the character and nature of God who is outward-looking, cares deeply for every person as reflected in the sending of Jesus to be ‘God with us’. The church is missional by its very nature being called to witness to the overflow of God’s love in its being and in its actions through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our calling is to join in with what God is already doing and play our part in God’s mission using the particular gifts, opportunities and passions that God has given to us. Based on the five marks of mission accepted by the world wide Anglican Communion, this provides a holistic approach to proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. This is shaping the formation of a new mission team in the Diocese lead by The Revd Canon David Gardner as Director of Mission and Ministry with oversight by the Suffragan Bishop of Dunwich, the Rt Revd Dr Mike Harrison.
- Part of Discerning God’s activity is through understanding our particular mission context and our Parish Spotlights provide relevant demographic information alongside trends of attendance for each parish in the Diocese.
- Our Deanery Plans will increasingly be based on the needs of the mission context of the wider area alongside the allocation of ministerial resources and clustering of parishes.
- Most of our mission work is based in our parishes and we can offer support and links to many resources to help parishes be mission shaped.
- The Diocesan Vision for Growth, Growing in God, provides the overarching framework for all our activities that goes beyond the mission team area of responsibility and includes the allocation of ministry and the allocation of other resources.
- Alongside parish churches evidence suggests that new ways of doing church called Fresh Expressions of Church are particularly effective at reaching those who are not attracted to our church services and events.
- An increasingly important area is our work with Children, Young People and their families. This is reflected in our priority to Grow Younger seeking to enable parish churches to more accurately reflect the age range of their parish.
- Chaplaincy is a growing area of ministry and provides unique opportunities to engage in people’s lives outside of the church community. Both paid and voluntary chaplains can be visible signs of God’s kingdom and shop windows for the broader Christian Community in a secular world.
- Community Engagement and involvement in Public affairs demonstrate the love of God in encouraging acts of practical care, campaigning for social justice and speaking up for the poor and disadvantaged.
- The Mother’s Union has a long history of engagement with real life issues that affect family life alongside support for the membership of those who belong to the many branches in the county.
- Training in evangelism and broader aspects of mission is offered that may lead to new forms of ministry alongside our existing Lay Evangelists (LLMs) and Church Army Officers deployed in the Diocese.