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Are you sure ? More lessons from the peer reviews in 2016

Alan Cruickshank from the Strategy & Development Unit looked back at the suggestions made by peer reviewers in the first 25 peer reviews and identified the most commonly-raised topics.  These 8 questions reflect the issues which peer reviewers highlighted most frequently:

1. Where is your delivery plan?

2. Have you got enough strategic capacity to deliver your plan?

3. How can you build and maintain excellent communication with your parishes?

4. What do you need to do to ensure your finances are sustainable, this year and into the medium term?

5. How are you going to re-think the way you deploy your clergy?

6. What are you going to do to encourage, facilitate and drive church planting and other fresh expressions of Church?

7. What more can you do to increase the pipeline of ordained and lay vocations?

8. How can you make mission and growth flourish through Church of England schools?

In Shared Insight 3 we looked at the first 4 questions. Here we expand on the last 4 by looking in more detail at the suggestions made by reviewers.  All 8 issues are explored in this summary note.

As Alan said in the last edition, there are few surprises on the list and it may be tempting to race through it and say ‘I knew all that’. But ask yourself: are you really sure your diocese is getting to grips with each issue?”

How are you going to re-think the way you deploy your clergy?

  • This was the most common suggestion made by peer review panels, perhaps not surprisingly at a time of falling clergy numbers, some high vacancy rates, and re-imagining about ministry
  • A detailed deployment plan could lay out how stipendiary clergy and stipendiary lay leaders will be recruited, deployed, formed and retained over the medium to long term
  • Having a deployment plan will help in your recruitment and retention because you can be more confident about your future requirements
  • There’s value in involving deaneries in deployment but they are often not best placed to make the most difficult decisions about deployment priorities

What are you going to do to encourage, facilitate and drive church planting and other fresh expressions of Church?

  • What is your vision in this area?
  • Are you ready to specify how many you expect to see over the next 10 years?
  • Are you clear about the resource church concept and where they should be?
  • Where do you need to focus your resources (e.g. deprived areas) and how can you unblock potential blockages (e.g. through Bishop’s Mission Orders)?

What more can you do to increase the pipeline of ordained and lay vocations?

  • How are you growing the number of vocations to ordained ministry?
  • Equally, how are you encouraging lay ministry roles?
  • And, for both ordained and lay vocations, how can you encourage people from BAME communities?

How can you make mission and growth flourish through Church of England schools?

  • Are you linking your churches’ children and youth work with your schools’ work?

  • How can your schools become catalysts and locations for new worshipping communities?


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